The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017
A Swiss Perspective
Millennials make up more than half of today’s global workforce; does your organisation understand their needs and concerns?
A turbulent 2016 - punctuated by terror attacks in Europe, Brexit, and a contentious US presidential election - appears to have rattled millennials’ confidence.
Millennials indicate they’re less likely to leave the security of their jobs, more concerned about uncertainty arising from conflict, and not optimistic about the directions in which their countries are going. The findings were revealed through a survey of nearly 8,000 millennials from 30 countries. Especially in mature markets like Switzerland, a general lack of optimism regarding economic and social progress exists. Many millennials feel that theirs is the generation in which things very much stopped getting better. Millennials in Switzerland quite clearly expect to be worse off than their parents.
“This pessimism is a reflection of how millennials’ personal concerns have shifted,” explains Myriam Denk, Director Human Capital at Deloitte Switzerland. “Four years ago, climate change and resource scarcity were among millennials’ top concerns. This year, crime, corruption, war, and political tensions are weighing on the minds of young professionals, which impacts both their personal and professional outlooks.”
The 2016 Millennial Survey implied that young professionals lacked loyalty, as many anticipated leaving their employers in the next two to five years. After 12 months of political and social upheaval, especially in developed markets, those ambitions have been tempered.
Twelve months later, millennials are a little more loyal (or perhaps less confident)
Making an impact through their employers
Millennials feel accountable for many issues in both the workplace and the wider world. However, it is primarily in and via the workplace that they feel most able to make an impact. However,only 36 percent of Swiss millennials feel enabled to contribute to charities or good causes at work. Opportunities to be involved with “good causes” at the local level, many of which are enabled by employers, provide millennials with a greater sense of influence. This local, small-scale change has a ripple effect that cascades from the individual to the broader workplace and to society at large.
In general, millennials say they intend to stay longer with employers that engage with social issues, such as education, unemployment, and health care, and those most optimistic about their countries’ progress are more likely to report their employers getting involved with wider social and economic issues.
Flexibility improves performance and retention
Millennials in highly flexible organisations 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 organisations. 82 percent of those offered with a high flexible working provision in Switzerland say they are more productive, and 71 percent state that they have a better work-life balance.
Automation brings threats and opportunities
There is no doubt automation brings with it some trepidation—36 percent of Millennials based in Switzerland see it posing a threat to their jobs and believe there will be less demand for their skills. On the other side, 56 percent believe that robotics and automation will increase the overall productivity within organisations and that it will have a positive impact on the economic growth. 40 percent of the respondents—especially those considered “super-connected” millennials—see automation as providing opportunities for value-added or creative activities, as well as the learning of new skills.
GenZ’s creativity and skills are welcomed
Millennials tend to have a broadly positive opinion of GenZ (those currently aged 18 or younger), believing the group to have strong information technology skills and the ability to think creatively. Six in 10 millennials believe GenZ will have a positive impact as their presence in the workplace expands; this belief is higher in emerging markets (70 percent) than in mature markets (52 percent). Millennials believe GenZ will especially need to develop softer skills, rather than technical or specific knowledge, to meet their expectations. Perhaps surprisingly, millennials in senior positions rate information technology and social media skills as being of relatively low importance compared to attributes such as communication, flexibility and leadership.
About the Deloitte Millennial Survey
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. 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 organisations.