Editor's View

Millennials May Prompt Changes In Business

According to “The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019,” “Millennials [born 1983 to 1994] and Gen Zs [born 1995 to 2002] make up more than half the world’s population and account for most of the global workforce. They aren’t the future—they’re the present. They can make or break entire enterprises and aren’t afraid to let their wallets speak for them.”

The annual survey included responses from Millennials and Gen Zs worldwide, but since many answers between the generations were similar, for ease of reporting, the survey focuses on Millennials.

This year shows a significant decline in Millennials’ optimism about the economy, government, and global and social conditions. Millennials feel a lack of faith in traditional institutions, such as government, religious leaders and the mass media.

Why So Negative?

The Deloitte survey suggests that since Millennials began entering the job market when the most recent recession began, they have fewer assets and more debt than previous generations at the same age. The past decade has seen economic inequality spike, with those at the top earning exorbitantly more than the lowest paid workers.

Technologies today allow people to feel more connected, but also more isolated. Many Millennials also believe that as technologies advance, they will not have the knowledge to keep up in the job market.

Although Millennials understand the positive side of social media and the internet, there is great concern over the negative aspects. Many fear becoming victims of online fraud and identity theft, and are wary of companies that seek too much personal data. Sixty-four percent surveyed said they’d be physically healthier if they reduced time spent on social media and 55 percent said social media does more harm than good.

What’s A Business To Do To Gain Millennials’ Trust?

Millennials believe businesses are responsible for achieving more than profits and they’re more loyal to companies—as customers and as employees—that support social and environmental issues. Millennials establish and break bonds with businesses for personal reasons, often related to a company’s positive or negative impact on society. In the Deloitte survey, 42 percent said they have begun or deepened a business relationship because they perceived a company’s products or services to have a positive impact on society and/or the environment.

Strategies for businesses hoping to attract Millennial workers and customers should involve: creating a dialog to develop ways to fulfill their needs, balancing profit-making with planet protection and social responsibility, encouraging diversity, creating safeguards against digital threats and examining ethics behind personal data collection.

Perhaps it will take the mindset of the Millennial and Gen Z generations to infuse more humanity, passion and compassion into the business world, which for too long has swung too far in favor of being run solely by the “bean counters.”