Climate change top concern amongst Irish millennials
Irish millennials continue to be disillusioned with traditional institutions, are sceptical of the motives of businesses and pessimistic about economic and social progress, according to the 2019 Deloitte Millennial Survey.
Climate change and protecting the environment is the top concern amongst Irish millennials, as indicated by 48% of respondents. This is significantly higher than the global average of 29%.
Social media – friend or foe?
This year’s report explored millennials’ use of social media and digital behaviours. It found that the majority believe that reduced usage would have a positive effect on their physical (64%) and mental health (65%). While 65% believe they would be happier if they cut down. Additionally, 67% believe that social media does more harm than good and that 42% would like to stop using it altogether.
Millennials are sceptical of cybersecurity; 76% are worried about how organisations obtain personal information, and 75% feel they have no control over who has their personal data or how they use it. Similarly, 85% are concerned that they will be victims of online fraud.
That said, to get the most out of technology, 62% agree that they must be prepared to share some personal details. Unlike social media, 61% agree that the benefits of technology outweigh the risks associated with sharing personal data.
According to the survey, millennials have developed an increasingly pessimistic outlook on economic, social, and political affairs. It found that 28% of Irish respondents believe the economy will improve in the next 12 months, down from 56% just two years ago. Meanwhile, just 21% feel positive that the current social and political situation will improve in the next year.
Respondents expressed low opinions of political and religious leaders, which is consistent with past surveys. Just 20% said political leaders have a positive impact on the world, and 19% said the same of faith leaders. NGOs and not-for-profit organisations are viewed most favourably (57%), followed by business leaders (35%).
Businesses must adapt
Consistent with their increasingly pessimistic outlook on political, social and economic affair, Irish millennials have become progressively more sceptical of business’ motivations and ethics. Nearly half of respondents (48%) think businesses have a positive impact on society. This is down from 61% in 2018. This sizeable drop was largely (82%) driven by the idea that businesses are agenda focused and do not consider the societal consequences of its actions.
Amending this reputation will be a challenge, considering Irish millennials align their spending with their ethical beliefs. It found that 45% engage more with products or services that they believe positively impact society or the environment, while 42% have moved away from companies perceived to have a negative impact.
In term of employment, 49% of Irish respondents expect to leave their jobs in the next two years. Just 28% plan to stay in their current job past five years. However, of those respondents that are in full or part time work, 39% believe the changing nature of work will make it tougher to find or change jobs. This figure rises to 49% for those who are not working or in unpaid work. Further, 84% of respondents would consider joining the gig economy.
“To attract and retain young employees, businesses should bolster their diversity and inclusion initiatives, find new ways to incorporate these generations into corporate societal impact programmes and place a priority on reskilling and training to ensure talent is prepared for what’s ahead,” said Valarie Daunt, head of human capital, Deloitte Ireland.
Travelling and seeing the world is the top ambition amongst Irish respondents (67%), followed by earning a high salary and being wealthy (64%). When compared with global counterparts, more Irish respondents want to be homeowners (62% versus 49%) and have children (46% versus 39%).
“From the economic recession a decade ago to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, millennials have grown up in a unique moment in time impacting connectivity, trust, privacy, social mobility and work,” said Daunt.
“This uncertainty is reflected in their personal views on business, government, leadership and the need for positive societal change agents. As business leaders, we must continue to embrace the issues resonating most with this generation, or risk losing out on talent in an increasingly competitive market.”