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Why Millennials will rule the workplace of the future

Posted on May 15, 2016

Australian businesses need to rethink their retention strategies for Millennial workers – or risk losing a large percentage of their workforce.

Those born after 1982 will comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025*, and they’re not keen on pledging allegiance to organisations that don’t value what they do. In fact, data reveals personal values have the greatest influence on a Millennial’s decision-making.

It’s a stark reality that Millennials are scaling the wall to reach those employers whose values reflect their own – a concept reinforced by the finding that globally 56% have ‘ruled out ever working for a particular organisation because of its values or standard of conduct’. While more than 83% of the next generation of Australian leaders say business success should be measured by more noble causes than just financial performance alone.

We know what Millennials want because they are apt at speaking their mind – and not surprisingly, what they strive for is pretty much what everyone else wants too.

So, how do we inspire this next generation of leaders to remain loyal?

Loyal people tend to be happy and productive, hence you’ll be well equipped if you foster organisational traits and behaviours that promote a sense of positivity. Millennials tend to be happiest in organisational realms where there is a creative, inclusive working culture, rather than a more rules-based and authoritarian approach.

More specifically, in organisations where employee satisfaction is stronger, Millennials have a much greater tendency to report:

  • Open and free-flowing communication
  • A culture of mutual support and tolerance
  • A strong sense of purpose beyond financial success
  • The active encouragement of ideas among all employees
  • A strong commitment to equality and inclusiveness
  • Support and understanding of the ambitions of younger employees.

In addition, you’re likely to have better staff retention if you build a solid foundation of trust and integrity. Keep your head by evaluating organisational success in ways that go beyond a single focus on financial performance – instead increasing the attention on activities and behaviours that support long-term sustainability.

And don’t mistakenly assume young people in your organisation know less. Recognise that youthful folk fully appreciate that leadership skills are important and know, in this respect, their development may be far from complete. However, results show Millennials believe businesses are not doing enough to bridge the gap to ensure the creation of a new generation of business leaders. This means there’s a well-defined opportunity for your organisation to take advantage of.

So place your attention on actively forming new leaders, not just managing them. Make sure there is support or training on offer and actively encourage people to aim for leadership if that’s what they want – because when it comes to loyalty, there is no middle ground.

Emily Emmerson is a specialist writer at Deloitte.

* Millennials survey 2016 | Deloitte Australia | Social impact, Innovation. See: