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Millennials want businesses to actively promote good citizenship and 83% believe that they should be involved in societal issues. What’s more, they are willing to contribute in making the world a better place, a new study finds.
The Future of Business Citizenship, a report by MSL Group, surveyed approximately 500 Millennials in 17 countries, including Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and India.
With more than half the world’s population under 30, Millennials in China, Hong Kong, and India quoted “environmental pollution” as their number one micro-economic concern, followed by inflation, quality of education, and terrorism. Inflation and healthcare costs top the list of concerns of Millennials in Singapore.
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Numbering more than 382 million, 69% of Millennials in China want to hear about active citizenship by business in the news, the highest of anywhere in the world.
83% also said business citizenship is a strongly differentiating factor for a brand. This was highlighted in company perceptions – Coca-Cola (18%), P&G (15%), and IKEA (15%) were the MNCs most perceived to be good citizens – however, they lagged behind domestic companies Alibaba (34%), Lenovo, Huawei and Haier, despite having good programmes.
Social media has taken a hit in China, where Millennials are highly unlikely to retweet a company’s good work (20% and rapidly falling).
In Hong Kong, with about a quarter of its population made up of Millennials, active citizenship refers to being involved in the country’s political affairs. A majority of Millennials (81%) feel it is important to share their points of view on how the country could be run better, such as by participating in a demonstration.
The rise of social media has also resulted in more Millennials being willing to show their skepticism and unhappiness online, the study found.
Almost 60% of Hong Kong Millennials are confident their personal financial situation will be better in 12 months, however men are slightly more confident than women. This confidence could be attributed to a low unemployment rate, given the strong domestic economic activity.
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The concept of active citizenship is not new to Millennials inSingapore, given the Ministry of Education’s mandatory scheme for students aged 7 to 16 to volunteer at least six hours of their time per year.
Nearly half of Singaporean Millennials said they would be more encouraged to be better active citizens – either through year-round volunteer activities arranged by employees or through time off from work to volunteer (49%). This, however, does not converge with current actions – while most Millennials intend to volunteer their time for a cause, only about a third have volunteered so far.
In comparison, Millennials in India strongly agree active citizenship involves voting in elections (91%, much higher than the global average of 79%), perhaps an indication of the large turnout for the recent elections in the world’s largest democracy.
Indian Millennials firmly believe in using social media to spread awareness of important issues (85%), while 9 out of 10 want to do something to make the society a better place.