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Millennials & Gen Zers Don't Trust Businesses

Rachel Reed
1/17/20 11:41 AM

Where do Millennials and Gen Zs stand with their trust, faith, and enthusiasm in the world lately? Deloitte conducted its 2019 Global Millennial survey to find out. 

Deloitte’s 2019 survey included young people at all education and occupation levels to gather a comprehensive view of the two generations. The reports findings are based on the views of 13,416 millennials questioned across 42 countries and territories, and 3,009 Gen Zs from 10 countries.

The survey sites social, political, and economic turmoil as a contributing factor of Millennial and Gen Z distrust. 

Gen Zs were raised during high-pressure economic recovery with access to watch it all unfold on their phone screens and Millennials endured the economic downturn as many were entering college, facing imminent crippling debt and an unstable workforce to boot. Starting a family, getting married, owning a home, and other traditional signals of adulthood “success markers” do not top their list of ambitions. So what does this have to do with the workplace? Why should employers care? 

Rather than happily join the “rat race” and start families, young people look to help their own communities and travel outside their comfort zones, according to the report. In fact, 57% put travel and seeing the world as their top priority. Just over half said achieving wealth is also a priority, just under travel.

Personally Concerned About the Planet and Income Inequality 

Climate change/protecting the environment/natural disasters (29% of Millennials) topped the list of concerns just above income inequality and distribution of wealth (22% of millennials, 17% of Gen Zs). Almost 80% of millennials are afraid of being a victim of online fraud, and almost as many are concerned about the security of their personal data held by businesses and government.  

Students and young people have and will always have the loudest voices of protest. Activism is not new or exclusive to Millennials and Gen Zers–Kent State saw anti-war protests during Vietnam in 1970, the Czechoslovakian anti-communist rally (The Velvet Revolution of 1989)  was powered by young, progressive minds, and more recently, young people led the 2018 walkout to demand action on gun violence following the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 


Don’t Trust Business 

From 2014-2017, the percentage of millennials who believe businesses have a positive impact on wider society held steady at or above 70. That number fell to 61 last year and is now down to just 55. Millennials believe that business falls short on enhancing employees’ livelihoods, improving society, and improving and protecting the environment. 

Half of millennials would quit their jobs in the next two years if they had a choice. Of that number, around 25% reported leaving a job in the past two years. 

Reasons millennials decide to leave

  1. Dissatisfied with pay/financial rewards: 43%
  2. Not enough opportunities to advance: 35%
  3. Lack of learning and development opportunities 28%
  4. I don’t feel appreciated 23% 
  5. Poor work/life balance (lack of flexibility) 22% 
  6. Boredom/not challenged 21% 
  7. I don’t like the workplace culture 15% 

The survey notes an important distinction regarding factors that attract and repel young workers: factors like diversity or competitive benefits, for example, may attract a millennial to an organization, but a lack of those factors may not necessarily drive them to leave. 


Download: How Employee Recognition Influences Attitude & Behavior in the Workplace 

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