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Developing Loyalty Among a Millennial Workforce

A recent survey by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu of millennials reveals that many are planning near-term exits from their current employer organization due to a number of factors. How can this trend be reversed?

Q2 2016
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited has just recently released the results of its fifth annual Millennial Survey. Some 7,700 millennials from 29 countries were surveyed to learn more about their values and ambitions, drivers of job satisfaction, and increasing representation in senior management teams.

The 2016 results reveal that millennials, in general, express little loyalty to their current employers and many are planning near-term exits — about a quarter within one year and more than 40 percent within two years. According to the survey, this lack of loyalty is due to a number of factors:

First, nearly two-thirds of the millennials surveyed feel they are underutilized and not being developed into leaders. Interestingly, millennial men (21 percent) are more likely to be in leadership positions than women (only 16 percent of the respondents).

Secondly, millennials believe most businesses are solely profit-driven. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed believe “the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance.” More than 60 percent reference the quality of a business’ products and services as well as how it treats its employees as better measures of business success. Among the important company values that millennials look for are “low staff turnover, quality of service or products, environmental protection, and employee satisfaction.”

And, thirdly, millennials put their personal goals ahead of organizational goals. Among these goals are a good work/life balance, finding a life partner, owning their own homes, and financial security that will allow them to save for retirement.

The absence of company allegiance presents a serious challenge to any business employing a large number of millennials, especially those in markets like the U.S., where millennials now represent the largest segment of the workforce. Nevertheless, according to the survey, because most young professionals choose organizations that share their personal values, it’s not too late for employers to overcome this “loyalty challenge.”

For some advice on how companies and their communities can help to satisfy the goals of millennial workers, read “The Next Generation of Live, Work, Play” on Area Development Online. Charles Ruby, a director in the Tax division at Deloitte, explains that millennials are bringing fresh ideas to the workplace and pushing change more than any generation before them.

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