How Millennials Are Demanding Social Responsibility Within The Workplace
Millennials are a growing presence within the workplace; by 2020, millennials, the generation born between 1980 and 2000, will comprise more than 50 per cent of the UK workforce.
How is the wave of millennials pushing corporate social responsibility into action?
Millennials in the workplace are stereotyped as many (mostly negative things); fickle, unmotivated, greedy, entitled, ''technology-obsessed'', you name it, millennials have been accused of it.
But what actually motivates millennials in the workplace? Extensive research suggests that millennials are not only driven by social change, but they expect and demand businesses to meet their high expectations of acknowledging their corporate social responsibility.
According to a PwC report; corporate social values become more important to millennials when their basic requirements, like adequate pay and working conditions, are reached. The report states that "millennials want their work to have a purpose, to contribute something to the world."
Similarly, a study conducted by Cone Communications highlighted that three-quarters of millennials consider a company's social and environmental commitments when deciding where to apply for work. This suggests that millennials want to feel they are contributing positively to broader society and want to feel like they can support the social good their company does.
The drive to work within an ethical and socially driven workplace shouldn't be surprising. The younger generation has access to the news instantly and continuously. Meaning their awareness and understanding of today's social injustices has equipped them to push brands to put meaning behind the company's advertising.
Nowadays "people are so aware of the concept of greenwashing...so if you are saying you are sustainable or having certain values, then failing to abide by them, people will know you are not being authentic" - Katie Leggett from Innocent.
Millennials are stereotypically known for being fickle with their job and ''job-hopping'' whenever it suits them. However, research suggests that a business' commitment to a responsible business model can be a significant factor in whether young people agree to stay or leave. For example, nearly 70 per cent of millennials said that if a company had a strong sustainability plan, it would influence their decision to stay long term. Additionally, 75 per cent of millennials would even take a pay cut if that meant they could work for a socially responsible company!
What workforce diversity means for millennials
Diversity is another crucial aspect of millennials demand from the workplace. For them, diversity includes everything from race, gender, sexual orientation and different thoughts and perspectives. They want an open and transparent work culture where inclusivity and diversity are at its heart. They are less likely to accept the traditional approaches to the workplace and demand that discrimination is tackled head-on. Results from a Deloitte survey revealed that 83 per cent of millennials feel empowered and engaged when they see that their company fosters an authentically inclusive and diverse culture.
Millennials push companies to be the best they can and in some cases can force them to change their ideology for the better. Companies must accept that 87 per cent of millennials would be more loyal to a company that helps them stand up for social and environmental issues. You can already see a change in corporate attitudes to social responsibility, in 2016, over 9,000 companies around the world have signed the UN Global Compact, a promise to uphold social responsibility in human rights, labour standards, and environmental protection.
Millennials are more connected and more conscious of the environmental and social challenges which are happening today. Millennials understand the importance of using their voices and actions to try and make a change and contribute to broader social campaigns. Consequently, they want their work life to reflect their demand for change and know that in order to make a significant difference, companies need to listen to them and follow their lead.
Do you feel strongly about having a positive impact in your community or environment around you? There are so many ways you can get involved with great projects in your area. Check out how you can become A Bloomer.