Gen Y Unimpressed By Business And Political Leaders

Millennials' opinion of big business and politicians at its lowest level in four years

What you need to know
  • The majority of millennials agree businesses 'have no ambition beyond wanting to make money'
  • Gen Y has little confidence in the ability of businesses or politicians to help them
  • A positive work environment, financial rewards/benefits and flexibility are most important for those in their 20s and 30s

Working millennials have again had their say on the business world -- and they're disappointed.

The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey -- now in its seventh year -- surveyed 10,455 people across 36 countries, including 337 Australians.

The research shows millennials (born between January 1983 and December 1994) are losing faith in big business and politicians, while their opinion of business's motivation and ethics is at its lowest level in four years.

Chris Richardson of Deloitte says "there's a degree of unhappiness on a bunch of fronts", including house prices, youth unemployment and the impact of technology.

Only 48 percent of millennials believe corporations behave ethically -- down 17 percent on last year.

And just 47 percent believe business leaders are committed to helping improve society -- down 15 percent.

A majority of millennials agree businesses "have no ambition beyond wanting to make money".

Image: 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey

In Australia, millennials believe workplace culture is more important than money.

Two out of three (67 percent) rate a positive work environment the most important thing when choosing a new employer.

Financial rewards/benefits are the second factor while flexibility is the third most important consideration.

When it comes to success in the business world, millennials want that to be measured by more than just financial performance.

This year's survey participants say they want businesses to strike a better balance between the pursuit for financial results and "softer" outcomes.

Those outcomes include improving society, enhancing livelihoods and protecting the environment.

Image: 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey

According to the report, how a business behaves tends to impact on how long a millennial will hang around.

Image: 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey

However 43 percent envisage leaving their jobs within two years, and just 28 percent want to stay beyond five years.

Millennials also aren't impressed with our political and religious leaders.

The survey asked if particular groups were having a positive or negative impact on the world.

Only 19 percent believed our political leaders were having a positive impact, while 71 per cent said the impact was negative.

Richardson warned millennials they risked becoming disengaged.

"If people don't trust politicians and divorce themselves from the political process then they end up on the wrong side of the decisions," Richardson said.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said: "I would encourage young people to be involved in political life, in the national debates."

Millennial's Are Worried About The Future Of The World

It is a view shared by both sides of politics, with Labor Frontbencher Ed Husic conceding the politicians themselves had a part to play.

"In terms of my side of politics, we have always got more scope to do more," he said.

It was slightly better for religious leaders -- 33 percent of millennials thought they had a positive impact, but 52 percent disagreed.

Business leaders were viewed better, with a 44 percent positive impact.

And as the workplace evolves with the growth of Industry 4.0 technologies there's also a marked desire for reassurance.

"What is a source of joy in their home life is a source of potential angst at work," Richardson said.

In Australia, 45 percent of millennials believe Industry 4.0 would augment their job. Gen Z were more pessimistic with less than a third thinking technology would augment their job.

"It's a really hard one to fix," Richardson said.