Anxious Millenials Seek Stability, Opportunity To Effect Change
  • Last year, the “loyalty gap” between millennials leaving their companies within two years and those who anticipated staying beyond five years was 17 percentage points. This year, it’s only seven points.
  • Within the workplace, flexible working continues to be a feature of most millennials’ working lives and is linked to improved organizational performance, personal benefit, and loyalty.

A turbulent 2016, punctuated by global developments such as the struggling European economy, Brexit, the contentious US presidential elections, war and terror attacks, appears to have rattled millennials’ confidence, according to Deloitte’s sixth annual Millennial Survey. In India, majority of them indicate they’re less likely to leave the security of their jobs.

According to the survey, over 50 percent of the millennials in India chose to continue with their employer for up to five years or more. In a similar survey conducted by Deloitte in 2016, around 52 percent Indian millennials said if given a choice they would leave their current employers within two years. That percentage has now climbed down (by 7 percent) to 45 percent in 2017.

The desire for security is also apparent in the finding that, while millennials perceive across-the-board advantages of working as freelancers or consultants—from the opportunity to work in different industries, to learning new skills, to the ability to travel or work abroad—nearly two-thirds said they prefer full-time employment. Among 18 areas of personal concern measured, unemployment was a top five concern.

Other concerns of millennials in India were terrorism, corruption within businesses and politics, crime, and personal safety and healthcare. 

Globally as well, the “loyalty gap” between those who saw themselves leaving their companies within two years and those who anticipated staying beyond five years was 17 percentage points. This year, the balance of millennials looking to “leave soon” is only seven points.

However, when compared to their global counterparts, millennials in India are optimistic about the country’s growth. 68 percent of the millennials in India expect the overall social/political situation in their country to improve in the next 12 months.

Millennials in India generally expect to be both financially (78 percent) and emotionally (55 percent) happier than their parents. This is in stark contrast to global figures, where only 26 percent of millennials predict they will be financially better off than their parents and 23 percent say they’ll be happier.

Flexibility improves performance, retention

Overall, 84 percent of millennials report some degree of flexible working in their organizations, and 39 percent say their organizations offer highly flexible working environments. They believe flexible working arrangements support greater productivity and employee engagement while enhancing their personal well-being, health, and happiness.

Those in highly flexible organizations appear to be much more loyal to their employers and are two-and-a-half times more likely to believe that flexible working practices have a positive impact on financial performance than those in more restrictive organizations. Three-quarters of those offered flexible working opportunities say they trust colleagues to respect it, and 78 percent feel trusted by their line managers.

Millennials are however, understood to be a generation who promptly move from one opportunity to the next. Therefore, “Employers will continue to face a hard time retaining these workers and they should continue their efforts towards talent retention,” Nathan added.

Contrary to millennials being perceived as self-centric, they are a generous group.

81 percent of millennials in India feel enabled to contribute to charities. 87 percent millennials show accountability for client/ customer satisfaction. And 85 percent of millennials are accountable in their working atmosphere. The survey also shows that 73 percent millennials have an influence in the overall reputation of the company.

“The events of last year were a wake-up call for business leaders,” said Nathan. “The business community can, and must, address millennials’ pessimism by doing more for society. We’re in the best position to address many of society’s most challenging problems and lead the way in creating an economy that works for everyone.”

Automation perceived positively

Millennials have been brought up with easy and ready access to technology. They are likely to be the biggest endorsers of Artificial Intelligence and robotics and feel less threatened by its progress. They see it as a tool to become a productive and capable workforce. 83 percent of the millennials feel Artificial Intelligence will improve the overall productivity of their work. 77 percent of the millennials also feel that robotics will contribute in giving a boost to the economic growth.

The research findings are based on a study conducted by Deloitte Global of nearly 8,000 millennials representing 30 countries around the globe during September 2016. In India the survey received responses from 300 millennials. Screening questions at the recruitment stage ensured that all respondents were millennials—were born after 1982, have obtained a college or university degree, are employed fulltime, and predominantly work in large (100+ employees), private-sector organizations.

Credit: Deloitte