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Sinead Healy

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Can business leaders do more to benefit society?


A new report has found an alarming negative shift in younger workers attitudes towards the businesses that employ them and leaders within companies too.

The latest annual Millennial Survey carried out by Deloitte uncovered that the large majority of millennial workers don’t believe businesses behave ethically or with good motivations. Also notable was the huge negative swing in attitude towards business leaders too, with just 47% of those asked stating they believed business heads are committed to helping to improve society on a whole, down from 62% last year.

The survey, which quizzed over 10,000 millennial workers and 1,800 Gen Z staff from across 35 countries found a big jump in the number of employees who believed businesses were only out to serve themselves and their own agendas, up to 75% compared to just 59% last year.

The same was true of workers perception of company ambition, with 62% saying they agreed that the businesses have little ambition beyond making money, up from 52% last year.

Why it matters

One of the key reasons why attitudes towards the company one is working for is so important amongst the millennial age group is that it’s a key happiness factor that also influences how long a worker in this particular age bracket is likely to stay in a job.

Factors such as corporate responsibility and charitable endeavours are elements that make up a company’s overall culture, of which millennials state is their second most important reason for either joining or leaving a company, behind only financial rewards and benefits.

And the continued mismatch between what millennials look for in an employer and what those employers are perceived to be delivering is only growing.

In fact, the same Millennial Survey found that just 28% of respondents are expecting to stay in their current position beyond five years, with 43% stating they intend to leave in just two.

Also, Gen Z are far more likely to want to leave their jobs within the immediate future, with 61% expecting to leave within two years compared to 43% of millennials.

Another key reason why improving company culture is so vital is that it directly correlates with the levels of employee engagement within a workforce, for which companies getting it right can expect to see higher levels of output, increased motivation and better business outcomes from their staff. Dedicated employee recognition programs support this, but a positive company culture is vital to ensure its’ success.

How employers can look to bridge the gap

What businesses need to understand is that where the perceived priorities and outward responsibilities match what millennials in particular expect of a business, the perception of that company is that it’s more successful, offering a better company culture to work in and are more likely to want to develop talent.

This perception has benefits not only with retaining current employees but also in the recruitment of new workers and the general consumer perception too.

So what can businesses do to begin to bridge the gap between employee expectations and what the firm is already doing?

One of the first ports of call is internal communications. Whilst not every business has the luxury of a dedicated internal communications team, the apparent perception gap could indeed be caused by the lack of knowledge specifically passed on from a business to its’ employees about the extracurricular work it may be carrying out, or it’s objectives in general.

This can begin to be addressed during the employee onboarding process where time can be spent to make clear to new recruits what the company’s goals and ambitions are, as well as any specific further endeavours which may benefit society or go beyond turning a profit and ensuring business success.

Author Profile Picture
Sinead Healy

Co-founder & MD

Read more from Sinead Healy

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