What do Thai workforce of Gen Y and Gen Z think compared to most people in the world?

Author: Mark John Maclean
Executive Director
Deloitte Consulting

Co-Author: Chodok Panyavaranant Ph.D.
Manager | Clients and Markets
Deloitte Thailand


The Great Resignation is a result of a misconception between generations which oxidizes the business sector around the world to maintain and recruit talents to mobilize companies. Therefore, shifting the talent management strategy with a better understanding is the critical success factor.

The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey: Striving of Balance, Advocating for Change1 connected 8,412 Gen Ys (Millennials) and 14,808 Gen Zs across 46 countries to gauge their views about work and the world around them. We also covered 300 Thai respondents in this survey and discovered four critical findings.


The first one is: Young talents are struggling with the cost of living and financial concerns.

Around 36% of Gen Ys and 29% of Gen Zs selected the cost of living (e.g., housing, transport, bills) as their most significant concern. This issue is not just apparent from the survey results, but young talents have expressed this concern for years due to the high inflation levels and wealth inequality. Thai Gen Ys are similar to global. However, 33% of Thai Gen Zs worry about unemployment instead. In detail, around three-quarters of Gen Ys (77%) and Gen Zs (72%) agree that the gap between the richest and poorest people in their country is widening.

Almost half of Gen Ys (47%) and Gen Zs (46%) live paycheck to paycheck and worry they won't be able to cover their expenses compared to Thai Gen Ys (67%) and Thai Gen Zs (68%) which are much higher than global.

Over half of the global average Gen Ys and Gen Zs (59%) are not confident they will be able to retire comfortably. In this aspect, Thai have a more optimistic view. Gen Ys (43%) and Thai Gen Zs (51%) respond to the same question.

Many of our young generations are redefining their solutions amid this financial unease. 33% of Gen Ys and 43% of Gen Zs have a second or full-time paying job in addition to their primary job. A small but growing percentage are also moving to less expensive cities with remote jobs. Correspondingly, 63% of Thai Gen Ys and 67% of Thai Gen Zs have more than one income channel. The top 3 side jobs for the Thai new generation are 1) selling products through online platforms. 2) pursuing artistic ambitions and. 3) working for non-profit organizations.

Almost equal, 11% of Gen Ys and 12% of Gen Zs picked political instability, war, and conflicts between countries as their most important issue.


The second: The Great Resignation, signals a breaking point and an opportunity to reassess how we work.

Though job loyalty is up slightly from last year, the effect of the great resignation still stays, especially in Gen Zs. 40% of global and 39% of Thai Gen Zs plan to leave their jobs within two years. In comparison, 25% of global Gen Ys and 13% of Thai Gen Ys responded to the same question.
Roughly one-third of the global average would exit without another job lined up, signaling significant dissatisfaction in their careers. Whereas Thai young adults are more extremely, two-thirds of respondents give us the same answer.

However, businesses learn and try to accommodate to attract and retain talents. The findings are that compensation is the top reason why both generations left a role in the last two years. However, the Thai new generations' top reason is good work/life balance and learning/development opportunities.

On average, 75% of global, both generations prefer remote work because they can save money, free up time to do other things they care about, and spend more time with family. 45% of Gen Ys and 49% of Gen Zs demand more flexible working. While 64% of Thai Gen Ys and 71% of Thai Gen Zs prefer hybrid work arrangement for the same reason – save money and free up time.

About 20% of global young talents say they have rejected a job or assignment because it did not align with their values. Meanwhile, those who are satisfied with their employers' societal and environmental impact, and their efforts to create a diverse and inclusive culture, are more likely to want to stay with their employer for more than five years.


The third is: The employees are prioritizing sustainable choices and environmental action.

Protecting the environment remains a top priority for both generations. About 75% of global and 88% of Thai respondents believe the world is at a tipping point in responding to climate change, but less than half are optimistic that efforts to protect the planet will be successful.

The vast majority, or 90% of Gen Ys and Gen Zs, are making at least some effort to reduce their impact on the environment. 64% of Gen Zs would pay more to purchase environmentally sustainable products. While, 94% of both Thai Gen Ys and Gen Zs gave the same answer.

The young talents want to see employers prioritize visible climate actions that enable employees to get directly involved. However, the employers have to do more because only 16% of Gen Ys and 18% of Gen Zs believe their employers are strongly committed to fighting climate change.


The last: Mental health in workplaces is becoming even more challenging.

According to a global survey, 46% of Gen Z is higher than 38% of Gen Y, who say they felt stressed most of the time. Young Thais have a much higher percentage of respondents to the same question, 60% of Gen Z and 42% of Gen Y, although this percentage is slightly lower than last year's survey.

Long-term financial futures and day-to-day finances continue to be top stress drivers for both generations. 67% of Thai young generation feedback that they have stress about their longer-term financial culture. That is higher than the global average.

Meanwhile, burnout is very high among both generations and signals a significant retention issue for employers. Almost half of the respondents feel burned out due to the intensity/demands of their working environments. They say many people have recently left their organization due to workload pressure.

Employers seem to be prioritizing mental health and well-being in the workplace. More than half agree that workplace well-being and mental health have become more of a focus for their employers since the pandemic started. However, there are mixed reviews on whether the increased focus has a positive impact.


In summary
Comparing young Thai talent with global gives us a sentiment that reflects us rethinking the difference in context. This information would be helpful for you to change the lens to pivot strategies in personnel management, business continuity, and sustainable organization in the future.

1 Note: Gen Y (Millennial) respondents were born between January 1983 and December 1994, and Gen Z respondents were born between January 1995 and December 2003.

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