Most people entering the workforce today would rather be employed by a company that does something for the community (think TOMS shoes) than a company that isn’t engaged in giving back in some way, even if they pay more. This is a staggering revelation for many Baby Boomers who own businesses — but embracing a business model that includes a cause will attract more consumers while making your team happier to be at work.
The engaged employee: why employees awaken when employers give back
Oftentimes, Boomers and older Gen Xers look at their younger counterparts and have difficulty understanding what drives them to need to be part of an enterprise that invests in a cause. Whether it’s feeding hungry kids, helping reduce the cost to spay and neuter dogs, or providing solar panels to local residents, it really doesn’t matter. When you choose to give — and brand your company as one with a cause — you’ll attract eager employees who are more likely to work hard to sell your product or service because they believe in your cause.
Millennials see themselves as a revolutionary generation ready to right the wrongs the capitalist-driven business model of the 20th century created. They want to usher in the era of renewable energy, resolve issues that poverty and income inequality create, and establish an environment of equality for minorities, the LGBTQ community, and women. When you harness this desire by giving these workers the chance to do good things, you’ll see better internal organization, a more cohesive team, and a bigger net profit, even when you’re giving a percentage of earnings back to a given community or cause.
How do I pick a cause for my company to work with?
If your goal is to attract young local workers, let them tell you — look around Facebook, Twitter, and the local news to find the underdogs who need a champion. By researching from the viewpoint of a Millennial you’ll easily find a local cause to support. As the old adage goes, “Think globally, act locally”: pick a group in need of your support that represents the bigger picture. Choose a cause that gets behind those in need of education or medical care, or create a work atmosphere that offers local youth a chance to be mentored by one of your employees to learn how to write code or work with new technology. These new business models will develop the workforce around you, and as your business grows and mentored children grow up, they can intern, become employees, and eventually be mentors themselves.
If you’re ready to invigorate your staff, improve sales, and reduce overhead, it’s time to shake things up by giving back. Get to know young workers and establish partnerships with local schools, find a need that isn’t being filled, and create growth through giving. This isn’t a passing fad — it’s the progressive model being embraced by the biggest corporations — and it works!