As far as generational surveys go, this one by Deloitte Insights is impressively large and insightful. Deloitte Global assessed the perspectives and attitudes of 14,655 millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) and 8,272 Generation Zs (those born between 1997 and the early 2010s).
Pandemic: A defining life moment
Likely similar to other generations, it predictably found the pandemic to be a defining life moment for both age groupings, especially in the magnitude of stress it has created.
But despite the stresses confronting these age groupings, both groupings also report an impressive and healthy optimism about their ability to forge improvements and change in society and work life.
According to the survey, both demographics are backing up that commitment with action. Among millennials, 55 percent have donated to charities in the past two years; among Generation Zs, a lion’s share (52 percent) have donated.
Ethics and values matter for career choices
Both age groupings report that their professional lives are impacted by their ethics and values, the survey found. Among millennials, 44 percent reported that personal ethics were a factor in the type of work they selected. Among Generation Zs, an even higher number, 49 percent, said ethics were a factor in their professional and career endeavor choices.
But the survey also found these two demographics confronting serious stress and mental health challenges at rates that are alarming. More than 41 percent of millennials and 46 percent of Generation Zs report feeling “stressed all or most of the time.”
Low employer confidence on mental health support
This demographic challenge, in turn, is even further amplified by the fact that neither age demographic has confidence in their employers to accommodate for this stress, with 40 percent of each age grouping reporting that “their employers have done a poor job” of supporting their mental health needs amidst anxieties associated with the pandemic.
Several major themes concern these age groupings, the survey found. More than four in ten in both age groupings feel that we confront a global climate crisis that has been permitted to escalate to a point that now is too late to confront.
Income equality and racism
Both age groupings see income inequality as a major societal challenge. Two-thirds of each age grouping see income inequality as a serious concern, and over half in each grouping support governmental or legislative intervention to resolve it.
A majority in both groupings (60 percent of millennials and 56 percent of Generation Zs) see systemic racism as “very or fairly widespread in general society.”
Corporations slightly more committed
Finally, businesses and the private sector at large clearly face a challenge with both age groupings. Slightly less than half in each age grouping believe business is “having a positive impact on society,” though both groupings see business slightly more committed to causes beyond their own profitability compared to a similar survey conducted last year.
Impatient and frustrated
“After nearly a year of life lived during the pandemic—a period punctuated by civil strife, social division, and severe climate events—millennials and Gen Zs surveyed in January 2021 were, understandably, both frustrated and impatient,” this insightful and important Deloitte Insights survey report concludes.