We recently put our analysts to work in an attempt to bust the many myths surrounding Millennial engagement. We discovered that the real key to motivating Millennial members of the workforce is simple – treat them like everyone else.
As part of our research we noted the common stereotype which suggests that Millennials are more engaged by social and environmental issues than any previous generations. Our data shows that Millennials don’t score their organisations lower on any social responsibility questions than their elders, but that they do typically think that their companies don’t care about the environment enough.
Whilst this stereotype is something of an exaggeration, it nonetheless hints at something which was revealed in the 2014 Millennial Impact Report from Achieve – that Millennials are typically much more familiar with the mechanics of Giving Something Back than older generations. For example, 47 percent of employed Millennials said they had volunteered in the past month, and 57 percent wanted their employer to offer more volunteer opportunities. In terms of new talent, these statistics could be related to the increasing numbers of students opting to take gap years before or after university, which often take the form of working for charities and volunteering either locally or abroad.
So how do you fulfil your Millennials' interests in Giving Something Back? Our answer remains the same – treat Millennials just like everyone else. That is, as individuals. Because whether or not your business reaches out to community or local/national charities is not just of interest to Millennials – it's a key factor in the engagement of your entire workforce. Best Companies' data reveals that Giving Something Back is one of the 8 key factors which impact most strongly upon workplace engagement. Our research shows a strong correlation between Giving Something Back and overall employee engagement, as demonstrated in the charts below:
The first chart shows data from private companies; and the second shows data from not-for-profit organisations.
When employees feel their organisation is doing well in terms of Giving Something Back, they're more likely to feel engaged; and vice versa. This stands not just for Millennials but for all individuals within an organisation.
Meaningful work can take so many forms. Partnerships with community organisations can help to build strong roots within the local area, supporting causes close to both your employees' and customers' hearts, whilst raising your company profile. Collaboration and creativity can flourish when meaningfulness and care take centre stage. Of course, such collaborations could be on a more global scale, depending on the size, priorities, needs and structure of the company in question. Charitable endeavours can prove a wonderful way to build a strong team ethos, as employees unite to offer their services, sense of humour, expertise and time towards a financial goal which will help others to live happier lives. Environmental issues are often top of the list when it comes to considering a company's impact on the world. Are you aware of, for example, your company's carbon footprint? Or of how you could reduce office waste levels?
There are many ways to Give Something Back. Why not ask your employees what matters most to them?
To find out the level of engagement in your organisation, register for the Best Companies BCI Survey here.