Jobs and the Future of Work

How loyal are millennial employees?

A staff welcomes a visitor (not in picture) at the reception of the Aurum restaurant in Singapore March 15, 2007.

Is loyalty to your employer a thing of the past? Image: REUTERS/Tim Chong

Murray Nicol
Global Leadership Fellow, World Economic Forum
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The days of joining a company after university and remaining with them until retirement are long gone, and they won't be coming back any time soon according to a recent survey of the millennial generation. According to The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016, 25% of those surveyed expect to leave their current companies within the next year, while two-thirds of respondents (66%) expect to be gone be the end of 2020.

The results are even more interesting when we look at them at the country level. In all 29 countries surveyed, a majority of millenials said that they believe they will have moved on from their organisation by the year 2020.

There is a clear divide, however, between countries from emerging markets and those from developed markets. Peru (82%), South Africa (76%), and India (76%) lead all countries in millennials who see themselves leaving their jobs in the next five years, with the average for all emerging markets at 69%. In contrast, the United Kingdom ranks highest of all developed markets (71%), followed by the United States (64%) and Canada (61%). The average for all developed markets is (61%).

This survey makes it clear that there is not a great deal of corporate loyalty among the younger generation of employees. In his blog “What makes young professionals walk out of their jobs?”, Punit Renjen, CEO of Deloitte, offers three factors for organizations to consider in order to earn the loyalty of millenial professionals.

1. The double bottom line is not just a nice thing “to do”

“Millennials want to work for organizations that prioritize purpose, as well as profit”, writes Renjen, “so creating a culture of purpose is critical."

2. Who they are is what they do

According to Renjen, “Millennials are more independent and more likely to put their personal values ahead of organizational goals.”

3. They crave attention – in a good way

“A lack of leadership-development opportunities and feelings of being underutilized were cited by many who are considering near-term career changes”, writes Renjen about the findings in the report.

Increasing employee loyalty is clearly a major challenge facing organisations. However, Renjen believes that the study provides an important first step in dealing with it. “The writing is on the wall”, he states, “now, it is up to organizations around the world to not only take note, but take action.”

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