Is this the key to millennial loyalty?

Millennials prioritise tolerance, inclusivity, respect and different ways of thinking, according to Deloitte

Is this the key to millennial loyalty?

When choosing a new employer, Australian millennials believe culture is more important than money, according to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey.

In fact, 67% rate a positive work environment as the most important consideration (compared to 52% globally), followed by financial rewards/benefits (63% in Australia and globally). Flexibility is ranked as third most important (by 55% in Australia and 50% globally). 

More than ten thousand millennials – those born between 1983 and 1994 - were surveyed across 36 countries, including 337 millennials in Australia. Moreover, Gen Z employees were also surveyed for the first time about their attitudes to work.

It found that millennials’ loyalty to their current employer is at a similar level to last year: not good.

Almost half (44%) of millennials expect to stay with their employer for less than two years. Only 22% say they plan to stay beyond five years.

Gen Z loyalty is even lower, with 59% saying they would expect to stay with their current employer for less than two years and only 16% saying they would stay beyond five years.

David Hill, Deloitte Australia’s chief operating officer, said both millennials and Gen Z “place a premium” on factors such as tolerance and inclusivity, respect and different ways of thinking.

“While pay and culture attract this cohort to employers, it’s diversity, inclusion and flexibility that keep them there; they’re the keys to keeping millennials and Gen Z happy,” said Hill.

“Those working for employers perceived to have diverse workforces and senior management teams are more likely to want to stay five or more years.

“And among millennial and Gen Z respondents who said they intend to stay with their current employers for at least five years, 59% note greater flexibility in where and when they work.

Hill said the fluctuating loyalty levels highlight a unique opportunity for Australian employers to double down on attracting and retaining talent.

“We need to listen to what our employees are telling us and reimagine how we approach talent management, guided by a renewed focus on learning and development to help our millennial and Gen Z employees grow for years to come,” said Hill.

Another key concern of millennials is how technology is changing the world of work. The survey asked millennials and Gen Z about the impact on their jobs of ‘Industry 4.0’ (the fourth industrial revolution, characterised by the marriage of physical and digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, cognitive computing and the internet of things).

In Australia, 45% of millennials believed that Industry 4.0 would augment their job, allowing them to focus on more creative, human and value-adding work. Gen Z were more pessimistic, with less than a third (32%) thinking technology would augment their job and a quarter (24%) saying it would replace part or all of their job’s responsibilities (18% of millennials believe this).

To help prepare them for the brave new world of work, millennials are primarily looking to their employers (40% cite business as most responsible for educating them, versus 18% saying government).

Millennials also rank ‘opportunities for continuous learning’ as the fourth most important consideration when choosing a new employer.

However, Australian companies are lagging their global counterparts in rising to the challenge: just 27% of millennials in Australia say their employers are helping them prepare for Industry 4.0, compared to 36% globally.

“Young professionals are looking for learning that’s far broader than technical knowledge,” said Hill.

“They are especially seeking the ‘soft’ skills they believe will be important as jobs evolve, such as interpersonal skills, critical thinking, judgment, innovation and creativity. Unsurprisingly, these are all skills less likely to be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence.

“These trends present opportunities for businesses and governments to change how we operate and how we engage the millennial workforce. We all must reinvent to stay relevant - at both an organisational and individual level.”


Related stories:
Are you biased in your flexible working benefits?
Why HR should give ownership to young staff
Why HR leaders should step outside their comfort zone


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