A global survey on millennials around the world was recently released by Deloitte. It reported that Singaporean millennials are less satisfied with their lives compared to peers around the world, and are largely pessimistic about the economic outlook of Singapore in the next 12 months. More Singaporean millennials have also rated earning high salaries amongst their top ambitions compared to their global counterparts.

In the survey, respondents are those aged 25 to 36 years old, and are said to grow up in times of uncertainty around issues such as connectivity, trust, privacy, social mobility, and work. This uncertainty is manifested in their personal outlook on businesses, leadership and the need for positive social change.

It was found that Singapore millennials are less optimistic compared to global average due to doubts about economic and socio-political situations. The top concerns the local respondents have are income inequality, unemployment, and climate change. They have also expressed loss of trust in businesses as a majority believes that businesses focus on their own interests rather than consider those of the wider society.

It is also interesting to note that millennials are conflicted about the role of technology at work. While 81 per cent of them are confident that they have the required skills and knowledge in the fourth industrial revolution, a large portion also believe that the current trend of automation will make it harder to get or change jobs in the future.

Read the full article on TODAYonline: Singapore millennials more pessimistic, less satisfied with lives than peers around the world


It is important for businesses and governments to understand how each generation perceives the world, and adapt accordingly to the needs, beliefs, motivations, and fears of the generations in their purview. Each generation grows up under different circumstances and how the world works in their eyes are fairly different. For example, in the years following wars and unrest, people living through those days would value stability and survival instincts. However, fast forward to today where most of us live in safe physical environments, and the threats become mostly digital and informational, like data privacy breaches and the spread of fake news. The skills needed to face these challenges will then have to be different as well.

For businesses to attract and retain employees, they need to understand who are in their labour force. Policies and practices will have to cater to the needs of both the younger and the older workforce, which warrants a certain level of flexibility from the organisation. Governments also need to understand their people in order to effectively propose policies that will nudge them in the direction the society should grow in. For instance, what would motivate young couples to start families? What are the barriers they are facing? These are concerns that would affect the birth rates of the country, and if policymakers do not understand their target demographic, it will prove difficult to implement policies effectively.

Questions for further personal evaluation:

  1. Why is it important to understand the outlook of millennials?
  2. How similar, or different, are your concerns and thoughts to those surveyed?

Useful vocabulary:

  1. ‘purview’: the scope of the influence or concerns of something