millennial survey 2016

Media releases

50% of Millennials plan to move jobs within two years

Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016: the Australian Cut

Only 20% of millennials intend to stay with their current employer more than five years

9 February 2016: Unless Australian businesses rethink their retention strategies for millennial workers they risk losing a large percentage of their workforce, according to Deloitte’s fifth annual Millennial Survey.

“The findings of the Millennial Survey are critical for business leaders,” said David Hill, Deloitte Australia Chief Operating Officer. “The 7,700 tertiary educated and employed millennials (aged up to 31) we interviewed globally place great importance on working for an organisation with innovative leaders who offer meaningful work, opportunities for professional development and a good work-life balance.

“They also want their leaders to listen and consider their views. In my experience we have a lot to learn from these bright, young future leaders. The best leaders value their ideas and energy. Those who don’t are likely to find their millennial workers quickly looking elsewhere.”

Deloitte interviewed 300 Australians as part of its global survey of millennials across 29 countries. Almost half (46%) of the Australian millennials interviewed said they expect to leave their current employer in the next two years (up from 44% globally). The data is even starker over the longer-term, with only 19% of Australian millennials saying they expect to stay with their current employer for more than five years (compared with 27% globally).

Born after 1982, millennials make up a significant proportion of young professionals and are already emerging as senior leaders in the technology sector and other industries. They will comprise 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025. Their loyalty to their employer is strongly linked to leadership development opportunities, workplace flexibility and, importantly, a sense of purpose beyond profit.

Investing in leaders builds loyalty

The Deloitte survey presented each year at the World Economic Forum’s Davos meeting found that 69% of the Australian Millennials likely to leave their employer in the next two years are unhappy with how their leadership skills are being developed. The most loyal employees will be those who feel that:

  • There is support/training on offer for those wishing to take on leadership roles
  • Younger employees are actively encouraged to aim for leadership roles.

“Leadership skills can and should be developed at every level of an organisation,” said David Brown, Human Capital Leader for Deloitte. “With the shift from positional power to personal power the importance of being able to influence and lead others is important for everyone in an organisation, irrespective of generation.”

Putting purpose before profit

The survey finds that millennials are guided by strong personal values at all stages of their careers. This is evidenced by the employers they choose and the assignments they’re willing to accept.

Deloitte Sustainability Services partner, Paul Dobson, said: “While 73% of millennials believe business has a positive impact on society, they still want businesses to focus more on people (employees, customers and society), products and purpose - and less on profits.

“More than three quarters (83%) of the next generation of Australian leaders say business success should be measured by more than financial performance. 73% rate having satisfied/loyal customers as the next most important measure of business success, followed by the quality of a company’s products and services (69%) and being a great place to work (67%).

“For the most loyal millennials a sense of corporate purpose is incredibly important, with 95% of those who remain with their employer more than five years saying it keeps them satisfied.

“Less than a generation ago, most professionals sought long-term relationships with employers, and the majority would never dream of saying ‘no’ to supervisors who asked them to take on projects,” said David Hill. “Millennials are more independent and more likely to put their personal values ahead of organisational goals. They are re-defining professional success and proactively managing their careers and it would appear their values do not change dramatically as they progress professionally, which will have a significant impact on business and society in the future.”

Keeping Millennials engaged

The second graph within this media release compares work satisfaction levels for Australian millennials (% numbers on bars) and their global counterparts (top of bars).

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Corporate Affairs & Communications
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Relative degree of importance when choosing to work for an organisation
Percentage satisfied with each aspect of current working life
About the Deloitte Millennial Survey

The research findings are based on a study conducted by Deloitte Global during September and October 2015, of nearly 7,700 Millennials representing 29 countries around the globe. 300 interviews were conducted in Australia. 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.

View the executive report of the global Millennial Survey here.

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.
Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte has in the region of 225,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

About Deloitte Australia

In Australia, the member firm is the Australian partnership of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. As one of Australia’s leading professional services firms, and winner of both the Australian Financial Review/CFO Audit Firm of the Year and Accounting Firm of the Year awards 2013, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and its affiliates provide audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through approximately 6,000 people across the country. Focused on the creation of value and growth, and known as an employer of choice for innovative human resources programs, we are dedicated to helping our clients and our people excel. For more information, please visit Deloitte’s web site at

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© 2016 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

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