Searching for Purpose: What Employers Must Do To Retain Millennial Talent
With each passing year, our news and content streams become more and more inundated with articles and blog posts analyzing the behavior and motivations of Millennials. Rather than taking apart the pieces of the puzzle that make up “Millennials,” we believe employers must take a closer look at how to better incorporate purpose and social responsibility dynamics to build trust and loyalty among their employees.
Research over the last few years by organizations like Deloitte and Great Place To Work proves that a strong sense of purpose in the workplace is closely linked to positive organizational performance.
When corporate values mirror the values of their employees, loyalty is more likely to develop especially when employers demonstrate a strong sense of organizational purpose beyond financial success.
Millennials intending to stay with their organization for at least five years are far more likely to report a positive culture and a strong business focus on the needs of the individual.
Trust Index© Employee Survey
A tool used to measure employee engagement across sectors, the Trust Index© Employee Survey (produced by Great Place To Work) assesses opinions, attitudes and perceptions; analyzes the level of trust between management and employees; accesses the level of pride in the work done by employees; and rates the amount of camaraderie among colleagues. Recent results from the Trust Index survey show that millennials have raised the bar overall for workplace cultures by lobbying for more meaning, community, balance and transparency in their work lives. The momentum from these demands are creating a spillover effect because organizations are evolving to adapt, much to the benefit of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. According to the Trust Index survey results on the “100 Best Workplaces for Millennials,” all three generations (Gen Y, Gen X and Baby Boomers) employed at these companies are thriving in their respective workplaces.
Another interesting finding through the Trust Index survey results and Deloitte’s annual Millennial Surveys is that nearly 90% of Millennials believe that business success should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance, and that over 70% believe that businesses should have a positive impact on wider society. In short, Millennials very much believe that business success is built on a foundation of long-term sustainability on all fronts, rather than pursuing short-term profit maximization.
“The message is clear: when looking at their career goals, today’s Millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and its contribution to society as they are in its products and profits,” said Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Global. “These findings should be viewed as a valuable alarm to the business community, particularly in developed markets, that they need to change the way they engage Millennial talent or risk being left behind.”
Organizations must demonstrate authenticity and purpose to engage Millennials as customers and employees. These strong correlations between work and purpose, social responsibility and loyalty among Millennials demonstrate how critical these elements are for business and economic growth.
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Tommy Lynn is the Chief Brand Officer and Partner at Verb, Inc., an Austin-based social enterprise dedicated to creating authentic connections that activate social innovation.
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