Corporate Switzerland needs to adapt to Millennials
The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2019: A Swiss Perspective
Facing continuous technological and societal disruption, millennials are somewhat disillusioned with traditional institutions, sceptical of business’ motives and not really optimistic about economic and social progress according to the Deloitte 2019 Millennials Survey.
Some of the most important findings:
- They value experience more than status: Millennials first want to travel the world and then maybe start a family. Buying a home and earning a high salary come second
- Swiss millennials’ confidence in the economy and in politics is relatively low: Only 15% see business leaders or politicians as a reliable source of information
- 40% name climate change as one of society’s three biggest challenges. This currently troubles younger people way more than economy or identity
- Millennials have a conflicted relationship with social media; half of them want to stop using the platforms and two thirds are concerned about data privacy and cybersecurity
- Corporate Switzerland needs to adapt if they want to keep millennials as customers and employees: Businesses are expected to play a pivotal stewardship role in society and communities that goes beyond mission statements and brand campaigns
Generation disrupted: The 2019 Global Millennial Survey
Ambitions: It’s not all about the money
Similar to other developed countries, Swiss millennials currently value experiences more than earning a high salary. Travel and seeing the world is at the top of the list of aspirations in Switzerland while starting a family comes second.
52% of global respondents are keen to earn a high salary and be wealthy, making this the second highest ambition in the ranking, whereas only 42% of Swiss respondents express the same desire. This difference may be attributable to the high average salary levels and low unemployment in Switzerland: the wealthier the economy, the more other ambitions gain in significance.
In Switzerland, there is not a lot of optimism among millennials. Positive economic sentiment is not only at a record low but also lower than in most other countries. Only 14% of Swiss millennials believe the economic situation in Switzerland will improve in the next 12 months, compared to 26% of global respondents.
A similar picture emerges when it comes to the political sentiments: Only 16% of Swiss millennials expect the social and political situation to improve in the next 12 months, compared to 22% on a global level.
Switzerland’s already high standard of living is likely to be one of the main reasons for the pessimism among millennials. It’s more difficult to make progress if we are already doing so well, but we still need to work hard and avoid complacency.
Reto Savoia, CEO Deloitte Switzerland
Mounting concern about climate change
Another potential reason for the low level of optimism among millennials in Switzerland is climate change. 40% of respondents are personally concerned about protecting the environment, making this their top concern in 2019. This figure is much higher than the global average of 29%.
As a result of their climate change concerns, many millennials in Switzerland are demanding that businesses focus more on their environmental impact. 43% of respondents have begun or deepened a relationship with a business because they believe its products or services have a positive impact on the environment or society.
Business leaders with lower reputation than politicians
Consistent with past surveys, Swiss respondents expressed low opinions of political and business leaders. 68% (73% globally) said political leaders do not have a positive impact on the world, with 64% (54% globally) saying the same of business leaders.
Furthermore, only 16 per cent of Swiss Millennials have ‘a lot of trust’ in political leaders, 14% answer the same when asked about business leaders.
Evolving tech and media landscape
Direct communication seems to be the way to re-establish confidence as many millennials mistrust traditional media and have a conflicting relation to social media.
48% of respondents believe that traditional media is negatively impacting the world, and 25% expressed ’zero trust’ in the media as a reliable source of information. These Swiss results are very much in line with the global ones.
When asked about their personal use of digital devices and social media, 56% of Swiss millennials (71% globally) said they feel fairly positive or very positive. 61% believe that they would be a happier person and 59% said that they would be physically healthier if they reduced the time they spend on social media. A clear majority of 60% believe that social media does more harm than good.
The use of social media might be addictive for some millennials. Some tech companies are aware of the negative effects of their devices, which has led them to provide people with monitoring instruments so that they can be more aware of their actions and limit use if necessary. But millennials themselves also need to learn how to deal with the downside of digital technology.
Myriam Denk, Partner in Human Capital Consulting at Deloitte
Privacy and cybersecurity concerns
With regard to personal data, 76% of Swiss millennials surveyed are concerned about the way in which organisations obtain personal information. 58% believe that social media platforms need to make more effort to protect people’s data and online security. However, 43% believe that individuals themselves need to make more effort as well.
Digital transformation: a challenge, not a threat
Digital technologies and Industry 4.0 are changing the nature of work. Although 49% of Swiss millennials who are currently employed think this makes it tougher to find or change jobs, 78% are confident they have all or some of the required skills and knowledge they will need for a world being shaped by industry 4.0. In other words, millennials see digital transformation more as a challenge than a threat.
Explore the results in more detail