Millennials as customers

Born between 1980 and the early 2000s, Millennials see themselves as being  tolerant, curious, positive, sharing, connected, flexible, innovative generation.

Millennials are well educated and see themselves as tolerant, curious, positive, sharing, connected, flexible and innovative.By 2025 will make up 75 per cent of the global workforce.

They are true to themselves and are the most-educated  generation. In 2011, 52 per cent of young adults (18 to 34 years) had a non-school qualification and 26 per cent held a bachelor degree or higher qualification. Go back 35 years to 1976 and only 30 per cent in the same age group had a non-school qualification and just 5 per cent held a bachelor degree or higher qualification.

Recent events, globalisation and happiness!

With experience of the world that goes back 40 years, the big trends and events that have helped shaped Millennials include the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the launch of Facebook, the bust, the 2008 global recession and Barack Obama’s election. The Black Saturday bushfires, Global Financial Crisis and Queensland floods weighed heavily on Australian Millennials.

Climate change is the top problem facing society in the next 20 years according to 300 Millennials interviewed in Australia for the Deloitte Millennial Innovation Survey.

Despite the threat of terrorism, natural disasters, economic catastrophes and climate change, 84 per cent of Australian Millennial respondents to the Viacom survey were happy (global average: 87 per cent). Nevertheless, 35 per cent were stressed (global average: 33 per cent).

Opinions on business

The Mind the Gaps Deloitte Millennial survey, which interviewed 7800 Millennials from 29 countries including Australia, showed Millennial respondents thought businesses needed to pay equal attention to people as they do to products and profits.

Seventy-five per cent thought businesses were too fixated on their own agendas and should be more focused on improving society.
The Deloitte Millennial Innovation Survey of 4800 people in 16 “markets” (covering at least 18 countries), provided more information on Australians: 70 per cent thought employee satisfaction was very important (just less than financial performance). Only 58 per cent thought their company helped society in some way or that they worked for an innovative company.

Working with Millennials

Millennials often have a broader perspective about supervisor-subordinate relationships, and want close relationships and frequent feedback from their boss. Their ideal boss is mostly a mentor (50 per cent), leader (40 per cent, confidant (30 per cent) and friend (23 per cent). The four qualities they wanted in a boss were: support (43 per cent), expertise (42 per cent), motivation (39 per cent) and fairness (38 per cent).

Millennials are optimistic and familiar with technology. They may be well placed to provide opinions on how to improve operations and marketing through technology. Like Generation X workers, they feel rewarded by work arrangements that offer more flexibility and new technology.


Viacom International Media Networks. ‘The next normal: an unprecedented look at Millennials worldwide’,

Rouse, M., Tech Target, “Millennials (millennial generation)”

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, UK, ‘Big demands and high expectations: Deloitte Millennial survey’, p. 2

Viacom International Media Networks. ‘The next normal: an unprecedented look at Millennials worldwide’,, p.6

Shuey, J., Business 2 Community “The digital generation: Millennials and social networking”

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Young adults: Then and Now

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, UK. 2013, ‘Millennial Innovation Survey’, p. 6

Pew Research Center, Taylor, P. and Keeter, S. Eds. (February 2010) Millennials—A portrait of generation next pp. 140,

Myers, K. & Sadaghiani, K., ‘Millennials in the workplace: A communication perspective on Millennials’ organizational relationships and performance’, Journal of Business and Psychology, vol. 25, no. 2, pages 225–238,

Thorne, P., ‘Wired and worldly: Engaging Gen Y learners’, Training and Development in Australia, Vol. 38, No. 6, page 16,;dn=247696329140263;res=IELAPA

Klein, K., “How to keep millennials from getting bored and quitting“, Bloomberg Business,

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