The Conversation (2): Millennials Shaping the Future

Millennials (people born between 1977 and 1995) are regarded as a force to propel the future of work and thus they are in a position to transform organisations and by extension an economy. They are a generation who know no other world than that driven by technology, collaboration and connectedness. As they have come into the workplace in an era of exponential technology, they are digital natives, global savvy and leading the way. 
 
These young adults have less inhibitions like generations past, they challenge the status quo, they want in on decision making that affect them, they can be restless but are loyal when their needs are met. As a rule, they refute been described as lazy but see this as adventurous – a certain audacity; they have a different worldview and live in their own world, they have anactive lifestyle and thrive in a ‘sharing economy’, preferring access rather than acquiring or owning.
 
Due to the talent power that this large group wields, modern day organisations are constantly thinking of how to tap into the promise that this offers to be able to compete in the marketplace of the future. As reports and surveys have indicated, their impact in the workplace and economy will be huge in this era and two, three decades to come. The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey aggregated the views of 10,455 millennials and 1,844 Gen Z around the globe (Gen Z also referred to as iGen or Post-Millennials are people born from 1996 and later). Against a backdrop of a fragmenting social and political environment and profound changes driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, the survey found, among others that  “Diversity and flexibility are key to loyalty” for this group in the workplace.
 
Although good pay and positive corporate cultures are most likely to attract both millennials and Gen Z, “the keys to keeping them happy are diversity, inclusion, and flexibility.” Unfortunately, the survey respondents believe that most business leaders, rhetoric notwithstanding, are not truly committed to creating inclusive cultures. Many respondents, especially in emerging markets, view the gig economy as an attractive alternative or adjunct to their jobs. Truly living our purpose, Deloitte celebrates Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)annually. The 2018 Deloitte West Africa D&I day was held on Thursday, 31 May across our offices in Abuja, Accra, Lagos and Port-Harcourt >> click here.
 
Our D&I vision is “to create and sustain a work environment where every employee has an opportunity and the support to achieve his/her career dreams regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, religion or age.”  A workplace with inclusive culture, where every gap is bridged, uniqueness is valued, individuals are empowered and differences are appreciated 
 
Different stories, Different journeys, One Deloitte.
 
Let’s read from the Millennials, Gen Z, et al on shaping the future
I caught up with some Deloittians to hear their narratives. Jamilah Jafun and Temitope Adedoyin are Deloitte Africa Millennial Board Members (2017). The Mill_Board is a group of millennials chosen from across the Africa Firm to act as an advisory board to the Africa Executive. Mill_Board is a platform designed to engage Deloitte future leaders by offering them the opportunity to actively shape our future and Make an Impact That Matters. The Board creates an opportunity for millennials to share ideas and provide innovative solutions and insights into some complex problems. https://www.cnbcafrica.com/videos/2017/06/27/deloitte-creates-millennial-board/
 
Jamilah, in her view   “… millennials are already more than the baby boomers in terms of population. This means that the millennials are slowly taking over in almost all industries.Millennials are very technology driven and we are always looking for ways to make tasks and assignments easier to complete using technology. The world keeps moving fast and these days, it is hard to keep up. Somehow, millennials have managed to do this.” 
 
Temitope agrees and posits thus: “Millennials are very keen about making a positive impact in society and want business leaders to do the same. This will force businesses to expand their focus to include societal purpose. Millennials, who also thrive on collaboration, will encourage rapid adoption of technology to achieve this. Increased innovation and more efficient processes are benefits that businesses stand to gain as a result. With a preference for more flexible working hours, millennials will push for flexible work policies in organisations. This will lead to more engaged and committed employees.
 
Ibukunoluwa Bamikole was a Panellist at the Deloitte Nigeria Diversity & Inclusion Day (2018) representing Gen Z Ibukun who self-describes as a ‘post-millennial’ and a newcomer in the 20-somethings year olds’ club trusts that Gen Z can positively shape the future. And she states “I strongly believe people in my generation can shape the future in diverse ways. There is a wide but wrong perception about Gen Z as unserious and lazy. I totally disagree with this. In my opinion, we are always seeking easier ways to do things and more often than not, this search leads us to ground-breaking discoveries and trailblazing. In addition, our ability to think outside the box brings innovation to the work force and our livelihood revive those around us. Finally, our access to and knowledge of high- tech is unbeatable and this would have a major impact on the future working environment and the society at large.”
 
Why Millennials want to work at Deloitte
It is simple – Deloitte prepares millennials to be future leaders … The Mill_Board being a unique example.  Our young people further amplify this –
 
According to Jamilah –  “Millennials want to change the world. It is a general theme among millennials to ‘make an impact’. That sounds Deloitte (#ImpactThatMatters). Deloitte is one of the few firms in the world that has taken steps to ensure that its environment meets the needs of millennials.
 
“The Deloitte building in Amsterdam, for example, popularly known as The Edge is one of the most creative technology buildings in the world. Everyone would love to work in an environment like that. From what I know, a lot of Deloitte offices are taking steps to ensure that the office buildings are millennial friendly- driven by technology, comfortable enough to allow creativity. Another underlying theme that attracts millennials is flexibility. Millennials are looking for flexible work environments to further ensure work-life balance.”  
 
Ibukun is telling us that “ … there were a lot factors that influenced my decision to work at Deloitte. Coincidentally, I had two other offers at the time … after much consultation and guidance … the decision was to start my career with audit in Deloitte because of its reputation for quality and excellence. Also, after meeting a number of people at Deloitte, I felt at home already – the environment was very welcoming. Finally, I was really impressed that the recruiting team paid attention to the minutest details in my application and figured out where my overall skills set would be useful. Eight months down the line, I have no regrets I chose Deloitte. “
Our workforce of the future all agree that a digital environment that supports diversity, inclusion and flexibility, which Deloitte offers is the major pull in anchoring their talents. These are futurists with an eye for revolutionising the work place and ready to ‘shake tables’. While the Millennials are the generation that grew-up on personal computers, cell phones and video game systems, Gen Z are those on tablets, smartphones and apps.
 
Most of them are primed for the age of Industry 4.0 … Deloitte is ready! Take a listen >>https://goo.gl/BciYpn
 
The Conversation continues … Stay engaged.

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