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Deloitte finds millennials’ confidence in business takes a sharp turn; they feel unprepared for Industry 4.0

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Deloitte finds millennials’ confidence in business takes a sharp turn; they feel unprepared for Industry 4.0
  • Millennials and Gen Z show less loyalty to and less confidence in business.
  • Distrustful of companies’ motivation and ethics, respondents call for business leaders to positively impact the broader world.
  • As loyalty levels retreat, diversity and flexibility are keys to retention as gig economy expands.
  • Millennials and Gen Z feel unprepared for Industry 4.0 changes–want business to help them develop skills needed to succeed.

Following a year marked by significant geopolitical and social change, millennials and Gen Z are sounding the alarm for businesses to step up their efforts to make a positive impact on the broader world, according to Deloitte’s seventh annual Millennial Survey (Full Report/China Market Summary Report). Although some leaders are starting to tackle social issues, millennials have become more skeptical overall of business’ motivation and ethics. The findings were revealed through a survey of 10,455 millennials across 36 countries. Nearly 1,850 Gen Z respondents across six countries who are just entering the workforce were also surveyed about their views on business.

Deloitte’s past two surveys suggested millennials felt increasingly more positive about business’ motivation and ethics. However, in 2018, there was a dramatic reversal as opinions of business reached their lowest level in four years. Today, less than half of millennials believe businesses behave ethically (48 percent vs 65 percent in 2017) and that business leaders are committed to helping improve society (47 percent vs 62 percent).

As highlighted over the past six years, millennials–and now Gen Z–are acutely attuned to business’ wider role in society, and overwhelmingly feel that business success should be measured beyond financial performance. They believe business’ priorities should be job creation, innovation, enhancing employees’ lives and careers, and making a positive impact on society and the environment. However, when asked what their organizations focus on, they cited generating profit, driving efficiencies, and producing or selling goods and services–the three areas they felt should have the least focus. They recognize businesses must make a profit to achieve the priorities millennials desire, but believe businesses should set out to achieve a broader balance of objectives along with financial performance.

“The results of this year’s survey indicate that the rapid social, technological and geopolitical changes of the past year have had an impact on millennials’ and Gen Z’s views of business, and it should be a wake-up call to leaders everywhere,” says Punit Renjen, Deloitte Global CEO. “These cohorts feel business leaders have placed too high a premium on their companies’ agendas without considering their contributions to society at large. Businesses need to identify ways in which they can positively impact the communities they work in and focus on issues like diversity, inclusion and flexibility if they want to earn the trust and loyalty of millennial and Gen Z workers.”

Trust gap provides opportunity for business leaders

By comparison, 44 percent of millennials believe business leaders are making a positive impact, and they still have some faith in business’ ability to enact meaningful change in society. Three-quarters of millennials believe multinational corporations have the potential to help solve society’s economic, environmental and social challenges. These findings suggest millennials believe business has an imperative to become involved in improving society beyond creating jobs and generating profit.

Loyalty levels recede; diversity/inclusion, flexibility keys to retention

Loyalty levels have retreated to where they were two years ago. Among millennials, 43 percent envision leaving their jobs within two years, and only 28 percent are looking to stay beyond five years. This represents a 15-point gap, up seven percentage points from the year prior. Among millennials who would willingly leave their employers within the next two years, 62 percent regard the gig economy as a viable alternative to full-time employment. Loyalty is even lower among the emerging Gen Z employees, with 61 percent saying they would leave their current jobs within two years if given the choice.

So, how can business hold onto them? Both millennials and Gen Z place a premium on factors such as tolerance and inclusivity, respect and different ways of thinking. While pay and culture attract this cohort to employers, diversity, inclusion and flexibility are the keys to keeping millennials and Gen Z happy. Those working for employers perceived to have diverse workforces and senior management teams are more likely to want to stay five or more years. And among millennial and Gen Z respondents who said they intend to stay with their current employers for at least five years, 55 percent note greater flexibility in where and when they work now compared to three years ago.

Industry 4.0 leaves millennials, Gen Z feeling unprepared

Millennials and Gen Z are highly aware of how Industry 4.0 is shaping the workplace and feel it has the potential to free people from routine activities to focus on more creative work. However, many are uneasy about its arrival. Seventeen percent of all surveyed millennials, and 32 percent of those whose organizations already use Industry 4.0 technologies extensively, fear part or all of their jobs will be replaced. Also, fewer than four in 10 millennials and three in 10 Gen Z workers feel they have the skills they’ll need to succeed, and they’re looking to business to help ready them to succeed in this new era.

Respondents are looking for guidance that’s far broader than technical knowledge. Young professionals are especially seeking help building softer skills like confidence, interpersonal skills and–particularly for Gen Z–ethics/integrity aptitude. In their view, though, businesses are not being responsive to their developmental needs. Just 36 percent of millennials and 42 percent of Gen Z respondents reported their employers were helping them understand and prepare for the changes associated with Industry 4.0.

“The fluctuating loyalty levels showcase a unique opportunity for businesses to double-down on attracting and retaining talent,” explains Michele Parmelee, Deloitte Global talent leader. “Businesses need to listen to what millennials are telling us and reimagine how business approaches talent management in Industry 4.0, placing a renewed focus on learning and development to help all people grow in their careers throughout their lifetimes.”

“The survey shows Millennials and Gen-Z’ers in China believe in a brighter future –more than 80 percent expect to be better off than their parents and think ‘Industry 4.0’ will support, not disrupt, their jobs, ” says Jungle Wong, Deloitte China Chief Talent Officer.

“At the same time, they are like their peers elsewhere intending to believe company leaders focus on their own agendas, not society at large. Keeping Gen-Z’ers interested in their work is going to be an uphill struggle — more than half don’t expect to stay in their current jobs for more than two years, and fewer than one-in-ten expect to stick around for longer than five years.”

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs 1

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit a fresh high in Asian trading on Saturday, extending a two-month rally that saw its market capitalisation cross $1 trillion a day earlier.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency rose to an record $56,620, taking its weekly gain to 18%. It has surged more than 92% this year.

Bitcoin’s gains have been fuelled by evidence it is gaining acceptance among mainstream investors and companies, such as Tesla Inc, Mastercard Inc and BNY Mellon.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and daily volume, hit a record $2,040.62, for a weekly gain of about 12%.

Ether is the digital currency or token that facilitates transactions on the ethereum blockchain. In the crypto world, the terms ether and ethereum have become interchangeable.

Ether futures contracts launched on derivatives exchange CME earlier this month.

(Reporting by Vidya Ranganathan; Editing by William Mallard)

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers 2

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank is working to standardize COVID-19 vaccine contracts that countries are signing with drug makers, and is pushing manufacturers to be more open about where doses are headed, as it races to get more vaccines to poor countries, the bank’s president said on Friday.

World Bank President David Malpass told Reuters he expected the bank’s board to have approved $1.6 billion in vaccine funding for 12 countries, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Ethiopia, by the end of March, with 30 more to follow shortly thereafter.

The bank is working with local governments to identify and fill gaps in distribution capacity, after they purchase vaccines under a $12 billion World Bank program, and also to standardize the contracts they are signing with manufacturers, he said.

The bank’s International Finance Corp, its private financing arm, has $4 billion to invest in expanding existing production plants or building new ones, including in developed countries, but needs more data on where current production is headed, he said.

“We are eager to be investing in new capacity, but it’s hard to do because you don’t know how much of the existing capacity is already committed to the various off-takers,” Malpass said in an interview with Reuters. New or expanded plants could be used to produce other types of vaccinations in the future, he said.

The bank’s funds could be used to expand plants in advanced economies, if the production was earmarked for developing nations, he said.

Malpass welcomed Friday’s pledge by the Group of Seven rich countries to intensify cooperation on the pandemic, saying it could help jump-start deliveries of vaccines to poorer countries, which are lagging far behind rich countries in getting shots in arms.

Data compiled by Our World In Data, a scientific online publication, showed Israel was leading the world in COVID-19 vaccinations, with nearly 82 of 100 people vaccinated, while India and Bangladesh reported less than one person per 100, Many African countries have not started at all.

Malpass said he was heartened by news about new vaccines coming down the road, and about Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE seeking permission to store their vaccine at higher temperatures, which would ease another obstacle to deliveries in lower-income countries.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Leslie Adler)

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion 3

By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google will evaluate the performance of its vice presidents and above on team diversity and inclusion starting this year, the company said on Friday in one of several responses to concerns about its treatment of a Black scientist.

Timnit Gebru, co-leader of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence research team, said in December that Google abruptly fired her after she criticized its diversity efforts and threatened to resign.

Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai ordered a review of the situation. While Google declined to share specific findings, the company announced on Friday it will engage human resources specialists during sensitive employee departures.

Pichai in June said that by 2025, Google aims to have 30% more of its leaders come from underrepresented groups, with a focus on Black, Latinx and Native American leaders in the United States and female technical leaders globally. About 96% of Google’s U.S. leaders at the time were white or Asian, and 73% globally were men.

As a result of the investigation, the company also expanded a commitment announced in June to devote more resources to retaining and promoting existing employees, including by expanding a team addressing disputes among workers and their managers.

The diversity component of executive performance reviews was not previously announced, and the company did not immediately share details about what would be measured and how pay would be affected.

Alphabet for years had rejected proposals from shareholders and employees to set diversity goals and tie executive pay to them.

Irene Knapp, a former Google employee who advocated for one such proposal at a 2018 shareholder meeting, said on Friday, “I am pleased that they met our demand from 2018, which was a bare minimum that should have been easy to do immediately.”

Evaluating managers on diversity goals is becoming more commonplace. McDonald’s Corp on Thursday tied executive bonuses to diversity.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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