Almost half of millennials are planning to find a new job within two years

Author: Kate Whitehead | Date: 10 Feb 2016

Motivations are not entirely altruistic and rewards do matter, says Deloitte survey

Millennials show little loyalty to their current employers and many are already planning their next career step – and that goes for 18 to 34-year-olds in senior and management positions as well as those in entry-level jobs.
 
Deloitte’s Millennial Survey 2016 questioned nearly 7,700 millennials around the world and found that 44 per cent plan to find a new job within two years. And that figure rises to 66 per cent by 2020.
 
The survey found a sense of purpose and a strong alignment of values are key to retaining younger staff. And contrary to a commonly held view that millennials are all about altruistic motives, they do care about both salary and benefits.
 
“A lot of them are looking to buy a home, get married and settled down, so it’s not surprising that salary is very important. It busts some of the myths in the market,” says Samuel Tsang, director of human capital advisory services at Deloitte China.
 
But once salary and financial rewards are removed from the equation, good work-life balance and opportunities to progress or take on leadership roles stand out.
 
“They are looking for development opportunities and if they don’t find them they will go elsewhere. Some progressive organisations are taking the ‘lattice approach’; rather than moving employees vertically they offer them opportunities to move around within the organisation, say from product development to sales to finance,” says Tsang.
 
Citing Proctor & Gamble and Cathay Pacific as examples of large organisations that successfully employ a lattice approach, Tsang says the strategy requires a lot of effort and thought into how staff are moved.
 
“There’s only so much space in organisations, so not all talent can keep moving up. The lattice approach, which allows for more flexibility and encourages thinking out of the box, makes sense. We are seeing more of this approach and millennials are one of the key reasons,” says Tsang.
 
The survey showed global differences. These did not reflect an East-West polarity, but were largely based on whether the millennials were working in an emerging or developed market.
 
One example is the difference between South Korea, where 74 per cent of millennials expect to leave their job within five years, and Japan, where that figure is 52 per cent. Korea’s vibrant market means it is fairly easy for millennials to move about, while Japan with its relatively older workforce makes for less movement.
 
“What makes a difference is the maturity of the economy. In the US, millennials make up a big chunk of the workforce, so management teams hear them. In comparison, in the mature markets in Asia Pacific, such as Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, there are some challenges. China is still doing well - in terms of the workforce many are still young, they grow up with technology and are very connected,” says Tsang.
 
While the survey found that millennials continue to express positive perceptions of businesses’ role in society, they have softened their negative views of corporate motivation and ethics. As in previous years, millennials were still seen to often put their personal values ahead of an organisation’s goals.