Millennials Workers Are All Grown Up. And They Are Leaving You.

When you think of millennials, who comes to mind? Those lazy, entitled kids fresh out of high school or college?


Millennials aren’t kids anymore. Nor are they a small percentage of your employee base. Falling between the ages of 24 – 35, these “kids” comprise over one-third of your workforce. Oh, and one more thing. They are sick of your crap.

Millennials are tired

So very, very tired.

They’re tired of watching company execs getting huge payouts, while working for stagnant or shrinking wages, with little hope of ever owning their own homes or paying off their student loans. Tired of seeing their employers ignoring the big-picture issues they care so much about. Tired of seeing powerful corporations exploiting employees, polluting the environment, and only pretending to care about diversity.

In short, they are sick and tired of working for businesses who prioritize profits above all else. And they aren’t planning on sticking around.

Time for a corporate reality check

The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey provides some grim facts for employers.

Turns out, the perceptions Millennials hold about employers is changing drastically. And not in a good way. The same goes for up-and-coming Generation Z.

The message they sent was loud and clear. If you think you will be able attract and retain employees without appealing to their core values, you’re in for a big surprise.

Let’s take a quick look at the numbers:

  • Only 48% of millennials believe that corporations behave ethically. (This is down from 65% in 2017)
  • 75% of millennials view businesses as focusing on their own agendas rather than considering the wider society. (Up from 59% last year)
  • 2 in 3 respondents believe leaders are only paying lip service to diversity, and that only formal legislation can truly advance workplace inclusion

And the values behind them:

The vast majority (83%) of millennials overwhelmingly feel that business success should be measured in terms of more than financial performance, such as:

  • Making a positive impact on society and the environment
  • Creating innovative ideas, products and services
  • Providing good jobs with career development that improve people’s lives
  • Putting an emphasis on workplace diversity and inclusion

They see your potential

But they also see you’re not delivering.

Three quarters of Millennials surveyed said they believed corporations have the potential to help solve society’s economic, environmental, and social challenges. But they also said they didn’t see it happening in their workplaces. This values disconnect is making them eager to jump ship, with 43% of millennials reporting that they expect to leave their current employer within two years.

If this sounds like a scary statistic, you’ll want to make sure you’re sitting down. Because that number jumps to 61% for Generation Z employees.

According to the Deloitte study, this year’s data show a “dramatic, negative shift in millennials’ feelings about business motivations and ethics.” Survey respondents expressed disappointment that corporate priorities aren’t aligned with their own, and their employer loyalty has retreated.

And only you have the power to change it

The more respondents felt their employers were prioritizing innovation and societal improvement, adopting flexible working practices, and having diverse senior management teams, the more likely they were to see themselves sticking around. 

When values are aligned, millennials perceived their employers to be more successful, have more stimulating work environments, and do a better job of developing talent.

Now is the time to take a good, hard look at your business model and priorities. Do you want to position yourself as the faceless corporation that puts profits above your employees, your environment, and community?

Or do you want to be a well-respected employer of choice, committed to using your power not just for profit, but for the greater good? The choice is up to you.

Just remember: Your future employees also have a choice.


Photo by Vadim Guzhva  

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