The Catholic Church has a clear opportunity to attract and keep young adults, judging from a study of what millennials want most from their workplace.
It’s a reasonable inference given the values that young adults say are most important to them in a workplace—and the subsequent reasons they give for not expecting to stay in their current job for more than a couple of years.
According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018, while young adults may take a job based on salary, a fat paycheck won’t keep them punching the clock over the long (or even the short) haul. When it comes to where they work, young people say it’s ultimately a business’s values that count the most.
Ranking highest among those desirable values are a company’s commitment to
Deloitte, a provider of audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services, surveyed 10,455 young adults born between January 1983 and December 1994 (ages 24 to 35) across 36 countries, with college degrees, employed full-time, working in large, private-sector organizations.
So what has any of this to do with the Catholic Church?
Where Is Everybody Going, and Why?
There are some striking similarities between the Deloitte survey results and findings of a recent Saint Mary’s Press-sponsored study on the dynamics of young adults leaving the Catholic Church.
In interviewing young adults, youth ministers, and others for this Catholic Research blog, I’ve heard similar sentiments regarding the reasons many young adults leave the church.
So how does all this add up to an opportunity for the church?
Is Opportunity Knocking?
According to the Deloitte survey report, a business’s actions “appear to strongly influence the length of time millennials intend to stay with their employers. . . . Younger workers need positive reasons to stay with their employers.”
But given those positive reasons, those younger workers will in fact stay.
Let’s consider again those values listed at the top of this article and ask: How is the church doing in each of those areas? In other words, does the Catholic Church, at the domestic/home, parish, diocesan, national and global levels
Punjit Renjen, Deloitte Global CE, in a Deloitte press release, says this describing millennials and Gen Z: “These cohorts feel business leaders have placed too high a premium on their companies’ agendas without considering their contributions to society at large. Businesses need to identify ways in which they can positively impact the communities they work in and focus on issues like diversity, inclusion and flexibility if they want to earn the trust and loyalty of millennial and Gen Z workers.”
The survey report concluded: “Companies have a clear and achievable opportunity to the extent they want to enhance their standing in the eyes of millennials, Gen Z respondents and students.”
The church has no less an opportunity. How are we doing?
Jerry Ruff, Senior Editor and Writer
Saint Mary’s Press Research