Development Crossing

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

Businesses Struggle to Deliver What Gen Y Wants

I recently came across the following article concerning the hiring of Millennials, or Generation Y. It is one of an increasing number of write-ups underscoring the recruiting imperative facing businesses hoping to attract the best and brightest Millennials to their ranks. If you are in the process of recruiting this generation, you will already know what I am about to say. Many companies are discovering that during the job interview, they are the ones being interviewed, not the ‘millennial’ candidate. And, of course, the criteria they are being assessed against is not what many business are prepared for. Although I have continually run across recruitment and retainment as key reasons for implementing a CSR strategy, I had not realized how acute the situation was, nor how bewildered HR departments are when facing Millenials.

The article might raise more questions than it answers (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). A fundamental question is that of standards. Against what standard measurement can businesses hope to compete? When it comes to CSR, and Corporate Volunteering, it is almost impossible to tell if the difference that is being made matters to anyone. Of course it does, even if only incrementally, but it is essential for businesses that they be able to demonstrate that reality.


Gen Y Demands More of Employers Friday, September 5, 2008 By: Jordan Walker

As corporate recruiting season is once again upon us, an opportunity arises to place ourselves in the shoes of the Millennials. What can and will they expect? One thing is clear: no longer is it simply enough to provide volunteer experiences-- this generation (Gen Y) is demanding more.

Millennials expect to be convinced that employers genuinely care about a greater good beyond financial profit, and they want to both be engaged and included in the process of making a positive impact. Read the full article here....

Views: 33

Comment by Brad Ewing on October 10, 2008 at 10:04am
I think when it comes to "Generation Y," who are even less "bought in" to corporate visions or mission statements than Gen X, it is important for corporations to do a couple of things...well. Firstly, from a job perspective, the only way companies can keep employees engaged is by finding ways to make them feel their daily tasks actually have a direct impact on business results. If they feel they are simply doing a job for the sake of doing a job, you've lost them and they are more than happy to go elsewhere.

Regarding employee engagement on CSR, I agree that Gen Y are demanding and expecting more of employers, however, I don't think any corporate initiatives will have a major impact on employee engagement if the community/CSR work isn't made personal and tangible for employees. Simply writing charitable cheques or cutting emissions won't do it these days, employees should be treated almost like customers, whose trust and commitment you have to earn.

Anyway, nice article, thanks for sharing.
Comment by Chris Jarvis on October 10, 2008 at 10:25am
You're absolutely right Brad. Connect everything to the end result, make it personal and very tactile. Well said.

One example of a business moving in the direction you suggest is Credit Suisse. In 2006 the company altered its course of Philanthropy for a couple reasons. First, they decided to leverage a resource a company possessed that individual donors did not - numerous volunteers instead of just one.

"If we can engage [employees] with the organizations that we support, then we can have a much bigger impact than we would independently of that," says Eric Eckholdt, executive director of the Credit Suisse Americas Foundation, in New York.

Second, the bank wanted to utilize volunteerism to increase morale and teamwork among their employees. Eckholdt holds that "This is a way they can accomplish a business goal while also helping the community,"

Now I am not sure how well that actually tie everything to outcomes and optimize a personal tactile approach, but its the right direction.

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