Ground-breaking research shows millennials aren’t the selfish group we thought

By Jacqueline Farman

The NZ Shapers 2019 study busts the common misconceptions of this generation

A ground-breaking study, released recently, has provided surprising insight into New Zealand’s largest consumer group – the millennials. In New Zealand, there are more than one million millennials, 82% of who are in employment and make up 37% of our total employment. They’re the most educated generation yet.

Key findings indicate that they have a strong work ethic and concern over the increasing gap between rich and poor, despite the narcissistic and entitled stereotypes often assigned to them.

The NZ Shapers 2019 – The Growing Influence of a New Generation research (undertaken by The Purpose Business­) challenges many common preconceptions of this generation and works to separate fact from fiction. Having entered the workforce in a time of global recession, strain on resources, and many social challenges, millennials are highly skilled in adapting for survival and finding ways for future betterment.

The five common millennial myths challenged by this new research are:

  1. Millennials are lazy
  2. They’re the ‘me, me, me generation’
  3. They’re shallow and materialistic
  4. They live in a digital world and they don’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s not
  5. They’re entitled and expect everything to be handed to them on a plate.

Jacqueline Farman, Co-Founder of The Purpose Business, says that employers and brands would be foolish to ignore the huge impact millennials are having on markets and workplaces.

“They’re hitting their heaviest consumption years as they buy homes and start families. They understand how to use their buying power to make the world a fairer and more sustainable place through who they choose to support and buy. They’re looking behind the brands, and expect marketing and news around them to be authentic representations. They’re also the most entrepreneurial generation yet.”

The report proves the below findings:

  • 56% believe they can rid the world of plastics in their generation
  • More than 50% of millennials believe that individuals are the ones most responsible for making New Zealand a better country to live, whereas less than 35% of global millennials agree with this
  • Almost 75% prioritise buying brands that have similar values to them and 1 in 5 are willing to pay a premium to support them
  • Almost three quarters believe that human actions are responsible for global warming
  • Millennials believe the most pressing issue in New Zealand is increased living cost, followed by the increasing divide between rich and poor
  • Only one in two millennials believe they are well informed about climate change and how it will affect them
  • 69% are prepared to make major changes to their lifestyle to combat the effects of climate change
  • In addition to their paid jobs, one third of millennials have a side hustle – a hobby, an investment or an activity that may lead to a job in the future

Deborah Simpson, Co-Founder of The Purpose Business, states that millennials are the generation of change-drivers and aren’t afraid to challenge questionable practices and ethics. She says they work hard on their career advancement and gaining a competitive edge.

“Not only do they want to talk about making changes, they actually want to implement them with a particular focus on a sustainable future. In fact, they’re set to inherit $31trillion in wealth and their investment priorities are to use it to help shape a more compassionate and sustainable world and to turn business into a force for good.”