Millennials Value Businesses’ Social Roles

About 92% of young adults believe a company’s success should be measured on more than just profit, a recent study finds.


Millennials seem to value the impact of businesses on society more than businesses leaders, according to a recent survey by Deloitte, a New York-based financial consulting firm.

An estimated 92% of Millennials say that success should be measured on more than just profits, compared with 71% of business leaders who agree, the survey of more than 1,000 Deloitte employees born after 1981 and 390 business leaders. While business leaders listed profit as the main purpose of business, Millennials listed societal development.

But while more businesses are establishing values statements, codes of conduct, commitment to sustainable practices and charitable efforts, trust in businesses has declined. In 2011, trust in business declined by about 8% in the U.S. compared to a year prior, the Deloitte report says.

“Clearly, the introduction of codes and traditional philanthropic practices alone has not been enough to convince wider society to trust business,” the report reads. “More is needed to restore the reputational capital of business.”

Gen Y really wants to work for a company that strives to make a positive difference in the world. They care not only about their jobs impact their own financial well being, but about how they can help their broader community. And these more socially minded workers are growing in staff ranks as the babyboomer generation, which is more independent, begins retiring.

They believe in that businesses can indeed make a difference. In fact they say they believe businesses can make a greater difference to society than the government. More than 50% of Millennials think that in the future, more than any other sector of society, business will achieve the greatest impact on solving societal challenges. Only 35% of business leaders say they agree.

In Callahan & Associates’ 4Q 2011 CUSP quarterly report on the credit union industry performance, which is set to hit the printer soon, we feature a deeper look at the impact of Gen Y’s evolving needs on credit unions. Among the many details, we’ll explore this generation’s social values and how credit union management can better attract and retain young adults in valuable staff positions.


March 13, 2012


  • Absolutely right! it's not about earning money but we have to love our work.