The reputation of business around the world among younger generations is declining. According to the 2020 Deloitte Global Millennial Survey, in December 2019, 51% of Millennials saw business in general as a force for good, down from 76% three years ago. Five months later in May 2020, as the COVID-19 health pandemic spread around the world, only 41% of Millennials agreed that business was having a positive impact on wider society.
Business people brainstorming using sticky notes
While this drop is fairly startling, individual employers’ reputations seemed to fair better: Millennials and Gen Z’s gave their employers high marks for their pandemic responses and, for the first time in four years, more Millennials said they want to stay with their employers for five or more years. Millennials and Gen Z’s also said that companies are doing more to align with their interests, including creating diverse and inclusive work environments and making a positive impact on local communities.
Because the viewpoints of younger generations will be critical to creating a new normal in the post-pandemic world, the survey offers important clues for how companies can reset and listen to their younger employees to create a better normal, says Michele Parmelee, Deloitte global chief people and purpose officer.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has radically shifted our way of life—how we work, socialize, shop and more—and young generations were especially impacted,” she says. “However, despite uncertain and discouraging conditions, Millennials and Gen Z’s express impressive resiliency and a resolve to improve the world. As we rebuild our economies and society, business should take a note from young people when helping shape the world that emerges.”
Improving Employee Loyalty
Companies interested in engaging younger generations can start by building on the goodwill they earned during the pandemic, the survey suggests.
Younger workers were especially hard hit by the pandemic, with about two-thirds reporting a change to their employment and income status as of the end of April and early May of 2020. In addition, nearly 30% of Gen Z respondents and about a quarter of younger Millennials (25-30 years old) said they either lost their jobs or were temporarily placed on unpaid leave.
However, those who remained on the job approved of the actions their employers took to support them during the pandemic. About two-thirds of respondents said their employers put both technologies and policies in place that enabled them to communicate and continue working during the pandemic.
Respondents also credited employers for helping them carry on with minimal disruption during the crisis, and about 60% say their employers took actions to support their mental well-being.
Younger generations also noted some improvements in companies’ broader actions. Before the pandemic, about seven in 10 respondents said their companies were creating more diverse and inclusive working environments and having a positive impact on their local communities. Nearly two-thirds of respondents also said their companies support their career development through training and mentorships.
These actions have boosted employee loyalty: Before the pandemic began, the percentage of Millennials who said they wanted to leave their jobs in two years dropped to 31%, down from 49% the previous year. Among Gen Z respondents, the number who want to leave their jobs within two years declined to half, down from 61% last year.
Millennials and Gen Z’s offered lower marks, however, for how companies are reducing or limiting their impacts on the environment. About 80% of younger generations believe that governments and businesses need to do more to protect the environment and are concerned that the pandemic’s economic impact will make this less of a priority in the future.
Leading In The Post-Pandemic Future
Moving forward, employers can build on their progress with younger generations by:
Asking for input on how to make the workplace more accommodating and by providing additional training and tools to help employees strengthen their skills and prepare for the future. Such improvements could be well worth the effort for organizations: According to the survey, some 62% of Millennials and 59% of Gen Z’s said they plan to buy more products and services from large companies that treat employees and society well during the pandemic.
Showing that they are prioritizing purpose over profit and shifting from a focus on satisfying investors to prioritizing all stakeholders equally, the survey states. That includes offering compensation structures to employees that reduce income inequality and more fairly distribute wealth.
Spotlighting employee mental health and working to better understand the causes of their stress. Offering more opportunities for employees to be engaged in their communities is also a plus, respondents said.
Doubling down on their efforts to address climate change, including implementing strong environmental sustainability programs.
Despite their own personal setbacks during the pandemic, Parmelee believes Millennials and Gen Z’s are renewing their commitment to improve society, while pushing for a world where businesses and governments do the same. “Businesses now have the opportunity—both as employers and as responsible entities within society—to help realize this better world that younger generations are committed to creating,” she says.
Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/deloitte/2020/09/16/engaging-millennial-and-gen-z-employees-in-the-post-pandemic-future/?sh=5646d8bc718a