The results of the 2019 Deloitte Millennial Survey are in and one thing is clear, this generation wants more with only 17 per cent of the South African cohort in this year’s survey, expressing uneasiness and pessimism—about their careers, their lives in general, and the world around them.
Having lost confidence in business, political leaders and journalists; millennials find hope in NGOs. These organisations are aligned with their own cause-oriented and purpose-driven natures.
“These results are a reflection of millennials having experienced government’s failure in delivering on its mandate with regards to issues that directly impact them and the rest of society, such as education and employment” says Deloitte’s Director, Human Capital Tumelo Seaketso, “They view NGOs as trusted sources of information because they are aligned to their values and aspirations. Essentially, millennials value making a social impact”.
Millennials want business leaders who act as agents of positive change and expect businesses to have a positive impact on the lives of those in the communities in which they operate but they do not see enough of them stepping up to the plate.
The idea that business has a positive impact on society at large is on the decline. In South Africa, the percentage of millennials who believe this, has dropped from 80 per cent in 2018 to 68 per cent in 2019. Consequently, the idea that businesses focus on their own agenda as opposed to considering society as a whole, is on the rise with the percentage who believe this having gone up from 78 per cent in 2018 to 83 per cent in 2019.
This should raise red flags for C-suite executives everywhere because more than half of the South African participants in this year’s survey said they had started or deepened a relationship with a business because its products/services positively impacted the environment or society. Almost half of millennials surveyed said they had stopped or lessened a relationship/s with a business because the converse was true.
Millennials’ discontentment was also evident when they were asked about their jobs and the businesses for which they work, with more than half planning on leaving their current employer within the next two years and only around a quarter, on staying beyond five years.
Seaketso says, “Those planning to stay over five years are aligned with companies that address their aspirations relating to community impact, talent development, diversity and inclusion while still maintaining their financial sustainability. It is thus important for companies to consider their talent strategies and aligning them to what is important to this generation as well as realising that this is a generation that does not fear contract work and navigating the gig economy – which the survey also shows appeals to the vast majority of them”.
Disruption has proved to be a double-edged blade. While technology has drastically improved our daily lives, it has also created difficult, new challenges and the effects of the changing forces of Industry 4.0 cannot be underestimated. The 2019 Deloitte Millennial Survey reveals that in South Africa, the majority – working and unemployed – believe Industry 4.0 will make it harder to get a job – or change jobs – in the future.
“The belief that is held by these millennials is due to the fears and perceptions that Industry 4.0 comes with job losses, machines will take over jobs and they might not be digitally equipped or have the skills required for Industry 4.0,” says Seaketso, “Industry 4.0 is poised to increase skills gaps across all industries as the nature of jobs that need to be done – and the skills required – are constantly changing. Companies need to invest in upskilling and reskilling their workforce and bring in technology in enabling life-long learning for their employees”.