Millennials are planning to quit their jobs and they don’t trust businesses (study)

Nearly half of millennials are planning on leaving their jobs within the next two years, according to the latest Deloitte Millennial Survey. And they don’t trust you.

The seventh annual study finds that attitudes towards businesses have worsened since last year among the cohort. And that both millennials and Gen Z are skeptical of companies’ motivations and ethics, and want to see business leaders make a more positive impact on the world.

Deloitte collected data from 10,455 millennials across 36 countries. 1,844 Gen Z respondents across six countries who are just entering the workforce were also surveyed about their views on business. The findings show an about-turn, as Deloitte’s past two surveys suggested millennials were feeling increasingly positive about business’ motivation and ethics.  Not so now.

According to the media release, “The 2018 results found a dramatic reversal as opinions of business reached their lowest level in four years. Today, less than half of millennials believe businesses behave ethically (48% vs 65% in 2017) and that business leaders are committed to helping improve society (47% vs 62%).”

Millennials and Gen Z both feel that business success should be measured beyond financial performance and that business priorities should include job creation, innovation, enhancing employees’ lives and careers, and making a positive impact on society and the environment. It’s not that they don’t understand that businesses need to make a profit, they just want more from them.

Punit Renjen, Deloitte Global CEO, is quoted as saying, “These cohorts feel business leaders have placed too high a premium on their companies’ agendas without considering their contributions to society at large. Businesses need to identify ways in which they can positively impact the communities they work in and focus on issues like diversity, inclusion, and flexibility if they want to earn the trust and loyalty of millennial and Gen Z workers.”

Loyalty is at a low

Loyalty levels are also on a downswing and have retreated to where they were two years ago. Forty-three per cent of millennials plan on leaving their jobs within two years, and only 28% are planning on staying beyond five years. The report also says that 61% of Gen Z has plans to leave their jobs within two years, but as that cohort is in its teens and 20s, this is hardly groundbreaking news. Most people don’t make careers of their first jobs.

Of millennials, a majority of those planning to leave – 62% – see the gig economy as a viable alternative to full-time employment.

How can businesses hold onto their employees? According to the survey, both millennials and Gen Z place a premium on factors such as “tolerance and inclusivity, respect and different ways of thinking.”

But don’t skimp on compensation

It’s worth noting, however, that these sorts of reports tend to gloss over the subject of compensation, giving it just a cursory nod before drowning the topic in more buzzy ones like meaning and inclusivity. Because nobody wants to spend more money.

The Deloitte report makes the statement that “Good pay and positive cultures are most likely to attract both millennials and Gen Z,” then goes on to say “but diversity/inclusion and flexibility are important keys to keeping them happy.”

Or rather: first and foremost good pay attracts employees. If you can afford to pay them better than everyone else, do so. Find something else to skimp on.

Employers sometimes tend to look for just about anything they can do short of giving raises. And the reality is that good pay goes a long way. All things being equal with a good culture and a focus on all the above factors – inclusivity, respect, flexibility, etc. – if you out pay the competition, you will see an increase in acquisition and retention.

Millennials also expect businesses to help them develop hard and soft skills

Respondents also said they feel unprepared for the future of work, or “industry 4.0,” and would appreciate some help building both hard and soft skills, “like confidence, interpersonal skills and—particularly for Gen Z—ethics/integrity aptitude.”

They say that businesses are not being responsive to their developmental needs, and feel it’s an employer’s responsibility to help them learn and grow.

“The fluctuating loyalty levels showcase a unique opportunity for businesses to double-down on attracting and retaining talent,” said Michele Parmelee, Deloitte Global talent leader. “Businesses need to listen to what millennials are telling us and reimagine how business approaches talent management in Industry 4.0, placing a renewed focus on learning and development to help all people grow in their careers throughout their lifetimes.”


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