Research commissioned by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu gives us some insight into the current views, opinions and values of the younger generation surrounding business and employment ethics.
The report compares the responses of two different studies and shows a change in general expectations but also marked differences between the two groups, the Millennial generation (defined as those born after 1981) and Business leaders across the world.
The younger employable generation today expect businesses to be an agent of positive societal change. This is indeed very interesting and encouraging when we consider that this generation has grown up in the most affluent of times, surrounded by and seeped in consumerism and material possessions like no other generation before. The report shows that 92% of Millennials and 71% of Business leaders believe that the success of business should not be measured by profit alone. The Millennials voice strongly that profit should no longer be the main focus of a modern and progressive business. Instead there should be more focus on Corporate Social responsibility (CSR). Business should benefit the wider community, acting as agent of societal change and making money within an ethical framework, giving due consideration to the effects on the environment, working conditions, sustainability and benefits to society.
When discussing the potential the business sector has in impacting society and bringing about positive change, over 50% of Millennials believe that business has the greatest ability more than any other sector to impact society for the better compared to 35% of Business leaders.
These values and formed opinions of the Millennials give us some hope for the future considering this group is in fact our future long term employees, employers and business leaders. I can envisage that a revised business model incorporating CSR as the norm will inevitably result in increased costs and reduced profits, at least in the short term. However as the opinions of the business leaders imply many progressive and successful companies are embracing this change and looking for the long term benefits.
You can in fact access the full report on…….
This report leads me to question and consider the current status of the Fashion industry? Are the views and opinions of the Millennials the same in the fashion industry? When we cast our minds back only a few months and remember the lives lost in Bangladesh it is a shocking contrast to what we hear voiced in this report. If opinions are similar in the fashion industry, are business leaders just not engaging with these paramount issues? How is it that this billion dollar industry whilst appearing so glamorous and sophisticated display images that existed 100 years ago? Is it perhaps the nature of the fashion industry to be short term as fashion is about the now? Or is it the high production costs that are unavoidable? What are your thoughts?