Business with purpose resonates for Millennials


Business should focus on people and purpose, not just products and profits in the 21st century according to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s (Deloitte Global) fourth annual Millennial Survey conducted across 29 countries.

Millennials overwhelmingly believe (75%) businesses are focused on their own agenda rather than helping to improve society, the report finds. Moreover, job dissatisfaction is apparently high with just 28% of Millennials feel their current organisation is making full use of their skills.

With over half the respondents aspiring for senior leadership positions within their current organisations, a disconnect between business operations and employee goals is apparent. This is amplified between developed and emerging markets.

Sixty-five percent of emerging-market based Millennials said they would like to achieve this goal, compared to only 38% in developed markets.

Additionally, the survey found large global businesses have less appeal for Millennials in developed markets (35%) compared to emerging markets (51%). Developed-market based Millennials are also less inclined (11 %) than Millennials in emerging markets (22%) to start their own business.

“The message is clear: when looking at their career goals, today’s Millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and how it contributes to society as they are in its products and profits,” said Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Global.

The report also found that Millennials want to work for organisations with purpose. Sixty per cent of Millennials demand a “sense of purpose,” as part of the reason they chose to work for current employers, which is amplified to 77% amongst high users of social networking tools.

The technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) sectors are reportedly the most attractive employers, providing Millennials with the most valuable skills and, crucially, leadership.

Senior leadership positions are a coveted role amongst Millennials, notably men Deloitte reports. Pressure is building on organisations and colleges to nurture emerging leaders, accordingly.

Defining true leaders as strategic thinkers (39%), inspirational (37%), personable (34%) and visionary (31%), Millennials estimate the contributions that skills gained in higher education made to achievement of their organisation’s goals at just 37%. This too is lower in emerging markets, averaging just 23%, but sinks below 20% in Japan (9 percent), Turkey (15%), South Korea (17%) and Chile (19%).

“Millennials want more from business than might have been the case 50, 20, or even 10 years ago,” said Salzberg. “They are sending a very strong signal to the world’s leaders that when doing business, they should do so with purpose. The pursuit of this different and better way of operating in the 21st century begins by redefining leadership.”

The full report can be downloaded here.