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Insight of the Day: 2024 Gen Z and Millennial Survey: Living and working with purpose in a transforming world

The 13th edition of Deloitte's Gen Z and Millennial Survey reveals key insights into the mindset and expectations of these generations regarding the economy, work, climate change, and mental health.

Key Findings:

Economy:

  • Cautious Optimism: Both Gen Zs and millennials express cautious optimism about the economic outlook for their countries and personal finances, marking the highest optimism since the pre-pandemic era of 2020.

  • Financial Insecurity: Despite optimism, financial insecurity persists, with many living paycheck to paycheck and the cost of living remaining a top concern.

  • Social and Political Uncertainty: There is less optimism about the social and political landscape, with only a quarter anticipating improvements.

Purpose-Driven Work:

  • Purpose as a Priority: An overwhelming majority of respondents emphasize the importance of purpose-driven work and are willing to reject employers or assignments that do not align with their values.

  • Values-Based Decisions: Reasons for rejecting employers or assignments include negative environmental impact, contributions to inequality, lack of support for mental well-being, and poor work/life balance.

Climate Action:

  • Environmental Concerns: Environmental sustainability remains a top priority, with a significant number feeling worried or anxious about climate change.

  • Personal and Collective Action: Many take steps to minimize their environmental impact and believe governments and businesses should do more to address climate change.

  • Consumer and Career Choices: Gen Zs and millennials are influencing businesses through sustainable purchasing decisions and career choices.

Generative AI (GenAI) at Work:

  • Positive Perceptions with Experience: Frequent GenAI users are more likely to perceive positive impacts on their work and work/life balance.

  • Concerns Alongside Benefits: Increased GenAI use also correlates with concerns about job elimination and challenges for younger generations entering the workforce.

  • Adapting to Change: Both generations are focused on reskilling and GenAI training to navigate potential disruptions.

Future of Work:

  • Evolving Career Paths: Career choices are increasingly influenced by environmental concerns and perceived vulnerability to automation.

  • Pushing for Change: Gen Zs and millennials actively push their employers for changes in workload, client services, learning and development, diversity, equity, inclusion, wellness, social impact, and environmental efforts.

  • Work-Life Balance and Flexibility: Maintaining a positive work/life balance is crucial, driving demand for flexible work arrangements like part-time jobs, job sharing, and four-day workweeks.

Mental Health:

  • Stress and Well-being: While stress levels have slightly improved, they remain high, impacting mental well-being.

  • Workplace as a Stressor: Job-related factors contribute significantly to stress levels.

  • Employer Efforts and Room for Improvement: While many believe their employers take mental health seriously, there is room for better communication and support.

Overall:

Gen Zs and millennials continue to drive change in the workplace and society. Employers who understand and adapt to their values and expectations will likely cultivate a more engaged and resilient workforce capable of navigating a transforming world.

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