Millennials, Gen Z worry about retirement, sustainability, employer values
NBC - 8 WFLA (Tampa, FL)
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Money, politics, and stress are all factors affecting younger generations' willingness to stay in a job. A newly released study by Deloitte, a professional services networked, surveyed nearly 15,000 millennial and Gen Z professionals to see what their top priorities were in the workplace, as the Great Resignation continues.
The survey by Deloitte found that workers from the millennial and Gen Z age groups are more likely to bring their political opinions to the workplace. The 2022 study by Deloitte found both generations' workers were willing to forego taking a job based on "personal ethics," and other jobs or assignments that "don't align with their values."
For management positions, almost half of the Gen Zs and millennials have turned down assignments based on those values, according to the Deloitte study.
The study also found that younger workers are prioritizing issues like climate change, sustainability, and public policy. However, the study also showed that public policy engagement and "using social impact pension providers or retirement funds" that invest in sustainable businesses were "lower priorities" than environmental concerns.
The higher priorities on the environment, for millennial and Gen Z workers, included "banning single-use plastic products at work/office locations, offering sustainability-oriented employee benefits, providing training for employees on how they can make a positive impact on the environment in everyday activities, and providing employees incentives to make better environmental choices."
Younger workers are also focused on financial stability and mental health needs, the survey said. Deloitte's study showed "46% of Gen Zs and 38% of millennials say they are stressed all or most of the time."
Additionally, the younger workers "are struggling with financial anxiety, while trying to invest in environmentally sustainable choices."
Flexibility is more of a priority for younger workers, according to the Deloitte survey.
"Amid this financial unease, many Gen Zs and millennials are redefining their working patterns. As many as 43% of Gen Zs and 33% of millennials have a second part- or full-time paying job in addition to their primary job," the survey said. "A small, but growing, percentage are also moving to less expensive cities with remote jobs."
The study said millennials and Gen Zers "feel burned out, but many are taking on second jobs, while pushing for more purposeful—and more flexible—work" while also pushing their employers to work on social issues they care about, like the environment and sustainability.
About a third of the workers surveyed said they're "struggling with the cost of living and financial concerns," such as housing, transportation, and cost of living. Twenty-six percent of Gen Z workers surveyed, and 31% of millennials, "are not confident they will be able to retire comfortably."
In line with financial concerns, roughly half of the workers surveyed said they were leaving their jobs "due to workload pressure" and "many worry about their day-to-day finances." Statistically, the study found that of the nearly 15,000 workers surveyed, 46% of Gen Zs live paycheck to paycheck, as do 47% of millennials.
"This year's report shows that many Gen Zs and millennials are reassessing what matters most to them as they grapple with the continual disruption and uncertainty of the last few years. This has led to a workplace reckoning which has empowered many to demand sustained changes, including higher compensation, more meaningful and flexible work, more action to address climate change, and an increased focus on well-being. There is an urgent need, and an opportunity, for business leaders to re-define the talent experience to better meet people's needs," Michele Parmelee, Deloitte Global Deputy CEO and Chief People and Purpose Officer, said.
Overall, the Deloitte survey found that despite investment by businesses in mental health needs, "stress and burnout levels remain high." Parmelee said "Better mental health resources, setting boundaries to protect work/life balance, creating stigma-free environments, and empowering their people to drive change are just a few of the ways leaders can support better workplace mental health." She said it was a way to help with employee retention and loyalty.
Written simply, Deloitte said, "Gen Zs and millennials are tired of being resilient, they want support and genuine change," and that the two generations of workers were "deeply concerned about the state of the world, and actively trying to balance the challenges of their everyday lives with their desire to drive societal change."