By: Ashley Byars
Today’s younger workers want to be a part of something greater than making products and profits. According to Deloitte’s Millennial Survey, six in 10 Millennials attribute a “sense of purpose” as part of the reason they chose to work for their current company.
Employee attitudes have evolved about what a job should be – it has to have meaning and purpose, especially to Millennials (1980 -1994) and Gen Z (1995-2015). Younger workers arrive at a company with a highly defined set of expectations. They want to use their talents and strengths to do their best every day. And they want their company to provide opportunities for them to have social impact while utilizing skills which will advance their career.
Simply having a corporate volunteer program in place is not enough anymore to attract and retain Millennial and Gen Z employees. Volunteer programs need to be designed to promote leadership skills and enhance career trajectory. Skills-based volunteering is a great way to do both while increasing job satisfaction.
Focus on People and Purpose
- Tap into their desire to be part of a higher purpose
- Offer skills-based projects that make a measurable impact
- Create volunteer opportunities that emphasize teamwork in a group setting
- Integrate volunteering into an employee’s growth opportunities and leadership training
Retaining good employees is just as important as attracting them. If younger workers don’t feel personally connected to their company they are less likely to stay. More workers are bringing their passion to make a difference to work and are focusing on emotional satisfaction rather than just earning a paycheck.
Companies must emphasize corporate social responsibility, not just to consumers, but to employees. According to For Momentum’s 2018 Corporate Partner Decision-Maker Research, employees (61%) now equal consumers (62%) in terms of audience companies want to influence with their cause activities.
Building Corporate Leaders Through Volunteerism
MailChimp, an Atlanta-based email marketing service already had a strong corporate citizenship program but wanted to expand it by developing individual leaders within the company and empowering them to act as leaders in the community.
MailChimp Community College was launched in 2017 to help its future leaders understand the role philanthropy plays in Atlanta and how each of them could make a difference. This unique 15-week program was designed in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta to educate MailChimp’s employees and to inspire change.
Employees visited local nonprofits to see their work first-hand and learn how to judge which nonprofits were making sustainable, effective change. The employees then used this knowledge to award $200,000 in grants to the organizations making the biggest impact.
Kabbage is an automated lending platform for small business that calls Atlanta home. Founded in 2009, it was recently named one of the eleven most valuable FinTech startups by Business Insider. Despite its growth, Kabbage has prioritized corporate volunteering and remains committed to providing at least one paid volunteer opportunity per month, typically during business hours.
Kabbage is committed to helping small businesses succeed and Kabbage Kares comes from this same desire to help communities thrive and individuals live their best lives. The company’s commitment to serving local communities is a top-level corporate goal integrated into their business plan. Philanthropy targets are set and tracked to determine whether annual company goals have been met.
Kabbage Kares is opportunistic and driven by employees. Ideas are solicited and employees are given an opportunity to tackle the issues in their communities that they are passionate about. Each of Kabbage’s offices also has a designated charity that they partner with in their area on a yearly basis.
Companies like MailChimp and Kabbage are built on a foundation of empathy, innovation and making a difference in the world. Their efforts serving clients while giving back to their communities have helped them attract Millennials and Gen Z employees and develop them into company and community leaders.