'I Am Millennial. Hear Me Roar!'
What do I want from my career? And what is the true purpose of business? These are the existential questions on the minds of the Millennial generation in 2015.
My organization, Deloitte, recently surveyed Millennials (born after 1982) from 29 countries, all college educated and in full time employment. For the most part, their generation is connected, engaged and idealistic. They’re tomorrow’s leaders (and in some cases even today’s), and comprise a sizeable portion of our current workforce.
Need further convincing that the opinions of Millennials matter to businesses of all sizes? In the United States for example, their generation accounts for $1 trillion of annual consumer spending. By 2020, Millennials will represent more than one in three adults, and by 2025, they’ll make up as much as 75% of the workforce.
The message is clear, and it's not a whisper but a roar: when looking at their career goals, today’s Millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and how it contributes to society as they are in its products and profits.
The results of the annual survey are enlightening. Here are some highlights...
Millennials want to work for organizations with purpose.
Millennials have a generally pro-business outlook. But, overwhelmingly, 75 percent of those surveyed believe business is focused on its own agenda, rather than the helping to improve society. For 60 percent, “a sense of purpose” is part of the reason they chose to work for their current employers. Among those who define themselves as high users of social networking tools, this number increases to 77 percent.
Millennials want to make better use of their skills.
Only 28 percent of Millennials say their organization makes full use of their skills, this figure falls significantly among Millennials in developed markets to just 23 percent. When asked to estimate the contributions that skills gained in higher education made to achievement of their organization's goals, the average figure was 37 percent.
Millennials want to work for enigmatic, visionary leaders.
They place less value on traditional leadership attributes such as well-networked (17 percent), visible (19 percent) and technically-skilled (17 percent). Instead, their ideal leaders are strategic thinkers (39 percent), inspirational (37 percent), personable (34 percent) and visionary (31 percent).
Millennials want to pursue leadership opportunities.
But there’s a clear ambition gap between developed and emerging markets. 65 percent of Millennials surveyed from emerging markets aspire to the top leadership job (eg: CEO) within their current organization, compared to 38 percent of Millennials surveyed from developed markets. Furthermore, our survey identified a confidence gap between genders. More Millennial men than women aspire to the top leadership job within their current organization (59 percent vs. 47 percent). Women were also less likely than men to rank their leadership skills as “strong” (21 percent vs. 27 percent). Yet when asked what they would focus on as leaders, women were more likely to say employee growth and development, an area which Millennials of both genders agreed was lacking in their organizations today.
"These findings should be viewed as a wake-up call to the business community..."
These findings should be viewed as a wake-up call to the business community, that they need to change the way they engage Millennial talent or risk being left behind.
Organizations that embrace the changing motivations and expectations of their workforce will reap the benefits this intelligent, connected and innovative generation has to offer.
So I’m very eager to hear what you think. Do you agree with the Millennials we surveyed – that businesses should focus more on purpose and people, not just products and profits? Please add your voice to the conversation in the comments section below.