**Young Employees Seek Purposeful and Meaningful Work**
Having tracked the priorities, concerns, and motivations of the youngest generations in the workforce for the last 12 years, the annual Deloitte Global Gen Z and Millennial Survey has revealed a consistent theme: Young employees want their employers’ values to be aligned with their own and they want to drive societal change through purposeful and meaningful work.
**Importance of Employer Alignment with Values**
As Deloitte’s global chief purpose and people officer, I understand the significance of this theme. Over 80% of Deloitte’s workforce, which amounts to around 330,000 individuals globally, belongs to the Gen Z and millennial generations. To fulfill my role, it is crucial to actively listen to their views and empower them to drive change.
**Progress in Key Areas**
The survey shows that Gen Zers and millennials believe employers have made progress in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), enabling work/life balance, and driving positive societal change. However, they are keen to see businesses embed purpose in work to a greater extent.
**High Standards and Career Decisions**
These generations have high standards for organizations and make career decisions based on them. Almost 40% of respondents have rejected work assignments due to ethical concerns. Additionally, more than a third have turned down employers they believe are not doing enough in areas such as the environment, DEI, or mental health. Furthermore, less than half believe that businesses’ impact on society is generally positive.
**The Benefits of Purpose-driven Companies**
Research has proven that organizations prioritizing purpose and impact tend to perform better. However, for many young employees, working for a purpose-driven organization alone is not sufficient.
**Driving Change Through Individual Work**
Gen Zers and millennials want to actively contribute to driving change through their individual work. They are more likely to stay in their current organization when they feel empowered to do so. In fact, they have indicated for some time that they have more confidence in influencing societal change through their work rather than personal choices.
**Empowerment and Decision-making Processes**
Unfortunately, only half of the respondents in this year’s survey feel empowered to drive change at work. Additionally, one-third state that decisions are made from the top down within their organizations, and their feedback is often disregarded.
When it comes to climate action, only 15% of Gen Zers and millennials feel that they can influence their organization’s efforts on sustainability. Climate change increasingly plays a role in career decisions, with over half of respondents researching a brand’s environmental impact and policies before accepting a role. A quarter of respondents even plan to change jobs or sectors due to climate concerns.
**Holding Employers Accountable**
Being a purpose-led organization requires a long-term and consistent focus. Gen Zers and millennials are holding their employers accountable for addressing societal and environmental challenges. In the face of accumulating challenges and rising uncertainty, they expect their employers and the broader business community to take a more active role.
**Putting Purpose at the Heart of Priorities**
To secure long-term commitment from young employees and create both financial and social value, organizations must prioritize purpose at the core of their corporate strategies and individual responsibilities.
**About the Author**
Elizabeth Faber is Deloitte’s Global Chief People & Purpose Officer.
*Note: The opinions expressed in Fortune.com commentary pieces are solely the views of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of Fortune.*