Posted: 01 Jul. 2020 05 min. read

The 2020 millennial experience: stress, security and a social conscience

As a large proportion of the modern workforce, millennials and Gen Z-ers still prompt a significant amount of intrigue in their approach to work and the wider world. Now aged between 26-40 years and 5-25 respectively, businesses’ need to evolve to accommodate and support these generations has never been more important – especially since they’re no longer just part of the grad team.

Enter Deloitte’s 2020 Millennial Survey, conducted both globally and locally here in New Zealand. Gathering the perspectives of 18,400 respondents, including over 300 in New Zealand, the survey shows interesting findings that build on previous years trends. It also gives a snapshot of a time that now feels a little alien – conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic seized the world, some of these perspectives will undoubtedly evolve again before 2021, while others will stay the same.

That’s why in response to the pandemic, Deloitte fielded an additional survey of 9,100 respondents, giving us a global perspective of how the mood changed among millennials and Gen Z. Here are the findings that really stood out…

Security is more important than ever

Compared to their Gen X and Baby Boomer relations, the younger generations have often shown far less loyalty to employers – an inevitable consequence of a volatile job landscape and a lack of rewards for staying around. However, many millennials are starting to settle for longer, with 33% of New Zealand respondents saying they would leave within two years in comparison to 55% last year. Keeping with this trend, those who said they would stay with their current employers went from 17% last year to 30% in 2020.

Much of this can be attributed to the generation’s advancing age, but it’s also worth noting that financial security was named as a key issue. 70% of New Zealand millennials said that they often worry or get stressed about their finances, on par with the global 63%.

Mental health remains a taboo issue

While workplace wellbeing has been increasingly discussed in the last few years, it seems like there’s still some big hurdles to be faced in New Zealand. 35% of millennials in New Zealand have taken time off work in the last 12 months due to stress (compared to 29% globally).

In addition, while these respondents are putting their mental health first, the survey also showed that they didn’t feel like they could disclose that to their employers. Only 24% of those in New Zealand who had taken the time off actually told their employers that it was due to stress – a much smaller number than the 44% globally.

Holding true to values is still important

A common theme with these generational groups is the emphasis on values and holding businesses to account. 40% of New Zealand millennials have started a relationship with a business because they’ve achieved a balance between ‘doing good’ and making profits. Likewise, 40% have interacted with a business because of a positive impact of their products on the environment.

That said, the overall perception of businesses shows that some more work needs to be done. The number of millennials in New Zealand who thinks business have a positive impact on the wider society around them has gone from 58% in 2018 to 45% in 2020.

Read the complete Deloitte 2020 Millennial Survey here.

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Lauren Foster

Lauren Foster

Partner - Consulting

I help organisations and their people understand and adapt to changes driven by organisational transformations, digital disruption, Mergers & Acquisitions and business model transformations. I am a subject matter expert in strategic change management, communications and learning & development with more than 15 years of experience helping clients across the U.S., Europe and New Zealand navigate people aspects of transformation across a broad range of industries.