May 15, 2019 in Viewpoint

Millennials and corporate social responsibility

With more and more millennials entering the job market, winning the war for talent on this end can be quite the challenge. To millennials, it’s not only how a workplace looks and if there is a great lunch. It has to do with something more. One of the main ingredients of happy millennial workers is the impact they're making on society when doing their job.

In this viewpoint, we shed light on the why, what, and how of corporate social responsibility. After reading this, you'll know how to help your millennials make meaning through your brand.

Anne Wernand
by Anne Wernand

Idealistic millenials

According to Cone Communications, 70 percent of millennials are willing to spend more with brands that support causes they care about. Considering they control about $2.5 trillion in spending power, that represents massive buying potential. A brand’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program is the best place to develop these initiatives. And this goes not only for buying from a brand, but also for working for this brand. Millennials love to work for brands that make an impact. How well brands communicate that impact, and how they incorporate it into everything they do (including the workplace) becomes more and more important.

Feeling of community and teamwork

The changes a company can make are much more significant than what we can do as individuals. Both facts provide an opportunity for your company to make a difference. Millennials are somewhat idealistic, but not in a naïve way. They recognize the value of ideas, more than their previous generational counterparts, and are more willing to work for a company that creates and nurtures those ideas. Not only does it make millennials feel like they’re a part of something bigger, it also provides fuel for change and growth.

Companies with a clearly communicated mission and vision often have a strong sense of community/belonging which is a good predictor of employee happiness. Think of companies such as Innocent Drinks or Dopper; both companies with a strong brand and company culture. Working for such companies reduces stress on having to save the world on their own. So, focus on making that impact and start making that difference.

Workplace design

Strong brands, such as Nike, Google, Lego and Adidas, implement their mission and vision through their entire organization. Not only by communicating their thoughts and ideas through various channels, but also by designing their workplace to fit these ideas. Usually, these strong brands offer places for activity-based working with atmospheres accustomed to their employees and by providing buildings that are environmental-friendly.

But throughout their brands, corporate social responsibility is a big must as well. Lego, for example, ranks 2nd most highly regarded company in the world. Stepping into one of their offices or stores, makes it clear what they do, what they stand for and what culture characterizes Lego. To rank this high in the Reputation Institute annual RepTrak100 survey, brands must, amongst others, deliver on corporate responsibility, express their story and be more human.

So, with more and more millennials entering the workforce, changing your proposition to a socially responsible one, should help you in winning the war for talent. Make sure you know how to make a social impact and be transparent about all that you do. It’ll pave the way for an organization with happy millennial workers.

More on winning the war for talent: millennial edition? Read how you can provide for focus in your workforce, or follow us on LinkedIn to learn more.

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