Multi-way alliances needed for global progress: Deloitte Millennial survey

Economy February 18, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Big demands and high expectations summarise the results of this year's Deloitte third annual Millennial Survey released from Davos, Switzerland.

“To attract and retain talent, business needs to show Millennials it is innovative and in tune with their world view,” Barry Salzberg, CEO of DTTL, said yesterday. 
“Our society – globally – faces many critical issues and it has become clear no sector should ‘go it alone’. By working together and combining their different skills, business, governments and non-governmental organisations have an opportunity to reignite the Millennial generation and make real progress in solving society’s problems.”
Across the globe, 70 per cent of tomorrow’s future leaders might “reject” what business as traditionally organised has to offer, preferring to work independently through digital means in the future. 
This and other findings in Deloitte’s annual study of Generation Y point to significant challenges facing business leaders if they want to meet the expectations of the Millennial generation.
Millennials, who are already emerging as leaders in technology and other industries and will comprise 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025, want to work for organisations that foster innovative thinking, develop their skills and wish to see them make a contribution to society. 
Millennials believe that businesses are not doing as much as they could to develop their leadership skills and that they need to nurture their future leaders, especially as they cannot count on them biding their time until senior positions arise. 
Other key findings from the survey:
_ Business could achieve more. While most Millennials (74 per cent) believe business is having a positive impact on society by generating jobs (48 per cent) and increasing prosperity (71 per cent), they think business can do much more to address society’s challenges in the areas of most concern – resource scarcity (68 per cent), climate change (65 per cent) and income equality (64 per cent). Additionally, 50 per cent of Millennials surveyed want to work for a business with ethical practices.
_ Government is not doing enough. Millennials say government has the greatest potential to address society’s biggest issues but are overwhelmingly failing to do so. Almost half feel governments are having a negative impact on areas identified as among the top challenges – unemployment (47 per cent), resource scarcity (43 per cent) and income inequality (56 per cent).
_ Organisations must foster innovative thinking. Millennials want to work for organisations that support innovation. In fact, 78 per cent of Millennials are influenced by how innovative a company is when deciding if they want to work there, but most say their current employer does not greatly encourage them to think creatively. They believe the biggest barriers to innovation are management attitude (63 per cent), operational structures and procedures (61 per cent), and employee skills, attitudes and (lack of) diversity (39 per cent).
_Organisations must nurture emerging leaders. Over one in four Millennials are “asking for a chance” to show their leadership skills. Additionally, 75 per cent believe their organisations could do more to develop future leaders. 
Millennials are eager to make a difference. Millennials believe the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance, with a focus on improving society among the most important things it should seek to achieve. 
Millennials are also charitable and keen to participate in “public life” – 63 per cent of Millennials donate to charities, 43 per cent actively volunteer or are a member of a community organisation, and 52 per cent have signed petitions. 
“It is clear that Millennials want to innovate and businesses should be listening,” Salzberg said. 
“Fostering a culture of innovation will not only help retain high-performing talent, it will also drive growth by creating opportunities for individuals to unlock the next game-changing innovations.”