Millennials quick to look elsewhere

Last updated: 13 February 2016

Australian businesses could see large swathes of their workforce heading for the door, unless they improve their retention strategies for millennial workers.

Millennials – those of us born after 1982 – make up a substantial proportion of young professionals, are already emerging as senior leaders – particularly in the tech sector – and will account for three-quarters of the global workforce by 2025.

Given that, you’d be right in saying they are key employment demographic, and one that Deloitte Australia believes needs to be better treated.

Deloitte’s fifth annual Millennial Survey saw an emphasis placed on working for an organisation with innovative leadership, undertaking meaningful work and enjoying access to professional development opportunities.

David Hill, Deloitte Australia Chief Operating Officer said millennials want their leaders to listen and consider their views.

“In my experience we have a lot to learn from these bright, young future leaders,” he said.

“The best leaders value their ideas and energy. Those who don’t are likely to find their millennial workers quickly looking elsewhere.”

Deloitte interviewed 300 Australians as part of its global survey of millennials across 29 countries. Only 19% of Australian millennials said they expect to stay with their current employer for more than five years (compared with 27% globally).

The Deloitte survey presented each year at the World Economic Forum’s Davos meeting found that 69% of the Australian Millennials likely to leave their employer in the next two years are unhappy with how their leadership skills are being developed.

David Brown, Human Capital Leader for Deloitte said leadership skills can and should be developed at every level of an organisation.

“With the shift from positional power to personal power the importance of being able to influence and lead others is important for everyone in an organisation, irrespective of generation,” he said.

The survey finds that millennials are guided by strong personal values at all stages of their careers. This is evidenced by the employers they choose and the assignments they’re willing to accept.

“Less than a generation ago, most professionals sought long-term relationships with employers, and the majority would never dream of saying ‘no’ to supervisors who asked them to take on projects,” Mr Hill said.

“They are re-defining professional success and proactively managing their careers and it would appear their values do not change dramatically as they progress professionally, which will have a significant impact on business and society in the future.”