HR Excellence Awards 2023 Singapore
Millennials in these industries find their work most meaningful

Millennials in these industries find their work most meaningful

Millennials continue to bring a different set of views and values to the workforce than the previous generations did.

In particular, this group values an informal organisational culture, flexibility, and progressive benefits among others.

In the same vein, a recent study conducted in September 2019 by Olivet Nazarene University, which involved 2,024 Millinnials,  also found that a bulk of Millennials today place importance on doing meaningful work.

In fact, when asked how important it was for their work to make a positive impact on the world, more than half (57%) said 'very important', while about one-third (33%) said it was 'somewhat important'.

On the other hand, just 10% considered it 'not important'.

Interestingly, it was also found that half of these Millennials (50%) would be willing to receive less money in order to do more meaningful work; while at the same time, 68% would work longer hours so they can do more meaningful work.

In line with that, a majority of respondents (64%) do believe their current work is meaningful, while nearly four in 10 still do not think so (36%).

Snapshot: Which industries found their current work meaningful?

Zooming in on specific industries, Millennials surveyed who worked in the education, non profit/social services, and medical/healthcare industries had the majority who found their current work meaningful (84%, 84%, and 82% respectively).

Those in HR/recruiting had a slightly-above-average response, with 65% of those surveyed revealing that their current work was meaningful.

On the contrary, the food and beverage (46%), skilled labour/trades (46%), and retail (36%) industries had the lowest percentage of respondents who found their current work meaningful.



Those in in instructional, creative and managerial roles found more meaning in their work

When responses were split according to the type of work respondents worked in, a large majority those whose work involved an instructional nature found their current work meaningful (89%), followed by those in creative (73%) and managerial (68%) roles.

However, roles that fell below the average were those in customer service (60%). manual/physical work (58%), administrative work (58%), and sales roles (46%).



This came as no surprise, as, according to those surveyed, a significant number (61%) pursued their current work for other reasons, while just 39% did so for the meaningful aspect.

In line with this, when the data was further broken down to the respondents' company missions, the survey revealed the following top three missions:

  • To keep people healthy or make them well (83%)
  • To keep people safe (77%)
  • Keep society organised and efficient (71%)

While the bottom few company missions included:

  • To give people satisfying experiences (61%)
  • To keep businesses running smoothly (28%)



How would Millennials like to improve their career?

Despite the importance they place on doing meaningful work, a majority of Millennials surveyed would still like to see an improvement in their career, by receiving more money (87%).

Work-life balance came a little behind (52%), followed by more meaningful work (34%), and work that provided more respect (28%).



Lead image and infographics / Olivet Nazarene University

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top Human Resources stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's Human Resources development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window