Issue 4 of What Employees Really Want
Millennials care deeply about brands supporting their values. According to a study by Cone Communications, 9 out of 20 millennials would switch brands to support a cause and 87 percent would purchase a product with social or environmental benefits.
According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017, 76 percent of millennials see business as a force for positive social impact. Furthermore, “super-connected millennials” (89 percent) and “active citizens” (80 percent) are among the strongest advocates of business.
To a large degree, these employees feel accountable for fixing challenges in the workplace and the in wider world. And they feel like they can have the biggest impact in their work and via their workplace.
This also ties into the concept of psychological meaningfulness, a term coined by William Kahn, the founding father of the concept of engagement. According to Kahn, employees need to experience a sense of being important at work by doing something that matters and making a difference. Psychological meaningfulness is derived from being given a high degree of autonomy to perform tasks that are clearly defined, yet challenging and creative at the same time.
Two things you can do:
1. Acknowledge their need for accountability.
It’s important for businesses to acknowledge this perceived accountability and leverage it as a platform and a starting point for building each employee’s sense of purpose, which will ultimately lead to a more engaged workforce.
2. Take a stand for a good cause.
What is something that your company can do to make your employees feel like they’re making a contribution to greater good? Is there something that could help use your employees strongest skills for a greater cause? Even if your company is not in the business of changing the world, you can encourage initiatives such as donation match programs or employee paid volunteering programs.