BUSINESSES must adjust how they nurture loyalty among millennials or risk losing a large chunk of their workforce, according to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
In Deloitte's fifth annual millennial survey, 44 per cent say, given the choice, they expect to leave their employers in the next two years. That increases to 66 per cent when the timeframe is extended to 2020. The findings were revealed through a survey of nearly 7,700 millennials from 29 countries from September-October.
Concerns regarding a lack of development of leadership skills and feelings of being overlooked were often voiced by those considering near-term career changes.
However, larger issues around work/life balance, the desire for flexibility and differences around business values are influencing their opinions and behaviours. Millennials appear to be guided by strong values at all stages of their careers. It's apparent in the employers they choose, the assignments they're willing to accept and the decisions they make as they take on more senior-level roles.
While they continue to express a positive view of business' role in society and have softened their negative perceptions of business' motivation and ethics compared to prior surveys, millennials still want businesses to focus more on people - employees, customers and society - as well as products and purpose, and less on profits.
"Millennials place great importance on their organisation's purpose beyond financial success, remaining true to their values and opportunities for professional development.
"Leaders need to demonstrate they appreciate these priorities, or their organisations will continue to be at risk of losing a large percentage of their workforce," Punit Renjen, CEO of Deloitte Global, said. "Fortunately, millennials have provided business with a roadmap of how employers can meet their needs for career satisfaction and professional development."
Millennials seek employers with similar values. Seven in 10 believe their personal values are shared by the organisations for which they work. This is the potential "silver lining" for organisations aiming to retain these young professionals.
Closing the "purpose gap" also will be critical to attracting and keeping millennials. They want to work for organisations that focus on improving the skills, income and "satisfaction levels" of employees, create jobs and provide goods and services with a positive impact on peoples' lives.
Millennials recognise the need for businesses to be profitable and grow, but feel organisations are often too focused on those objectives. Organisations with a strong sense of purpose will achieve long-term success while organisations that do not are at risk, they feel.
Employers providing opportunities for leadership development, connecting millennials to mentors, encouraging a work/life balance, providing flexibility that allows millennials to work where they're most productive, giving them more control over their careers and fostering cultures that encourage and reward open communications, ethical behaviour and inclusiveness, are those that will be most successful in retaining millennial employees.