Attracting Millennials with Company Values
As a mother to Millennial children, I’m constantly interested in their world. I’ve found that while it’s impossible to truly understand them, the first step in doing so is to understand that we don’t think alike. When we (baby-boomers) were entering the professional world, the goal was to get a job. You didn’t know everything about the company, there wasn’t a website to go look up their mission, and we virtually accepted the first job offer with a good salary. Millennials have a different approach. Technological advances like social media have given us the ability to access the entirety of the world’s information…unfortunately we mostly use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with strangers…but it’s also given younger generations the gift of a wider lens into the world. They’re exposed to every single problem in the world. Hunger? It’s on Facebook. Corrupt powers? You betcha. Poverty? You won’t see it in the news, but it’s pictured on social media.
Millennials are exposed to worldly problems that 15 years ago, we could only talk and read about. The visualization and ability to instantaneously share information has helped Millennials to understand what poor shape our world is truly in. As a result, we get statistics like this, “84% of Millennials say that knowing they’re making a positive difference in the world is more important than any professional recognition.”
Organizations are being forced to emphasize their company values and launch in-depth Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs in order to remain successful and appeal to Millennials. If a company acts irresponsibly or unethically, social media and Millennials will make sure they don’t forget it.
Besides avoiding unethical business practices, how can you harness company values to create an organization that Millennials want to work for?
Practice what you preach. Millennials want to be making a difference in the world and work for companies that do the same. If your organization isn’t practicing CSR, it’s time to start. If you tout giving back to the community, provide your employees with paid days out of the office where they can go out and volunteer among the community; then brag about it! Organizations that act responsibly don’t make the news. So it’s up to you to spread the word.
“Research shows that, compared with previous generations, millennials value experiences over material possessions. Combine the happiness derived from an inspiring volunteer experience and the appeal of working for a company that gives back, and paid volunteer days look like the ultimate millennial perk — not to mention a social-media recruiting tool that runs itself.”
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