EVENTS & INSIGHTS / INSIGHT

What does Generation Innovation want from their employers?

by Shannon Houde

As millenials (AKA generation innovation) make up an increasing share of the workforce, business leaders know that they run the risk of losing out by not paying attention them. These emerging leaders have a lot to offer the impact and sustainability sectors. A young global generation, connected culturally and spatially through technology, motivated by social good and seeking careers that facilitate innovation. This is exactly the kind of leadership business must harness if it is to adapt to the triple bottom line of economic, social and natural capital in coming decades.

A fascinating report from my previous employer, Deloitte, surveyed 7,800 members of the millennial generation across 26 countries and the results were summed up as ‘big demands and high expectations’. Millennials will comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025, and the findings show that they want to work for organizations that make a positive contribution to society by addressing global challenges of resource scarcity, climate change and income equality.

They also want to work for companies that support innovation, and identified the biggest barriers to innovation as management attitude, operational structures and procedures, and employee skills, attitudes, and diversity. What’s more, the report states that they are “ready to work independently if their needs are not being met by a traditional organization”, implying an entrepreneurial spirit and attraction to alternative working structures.

DON'T MISS OUT
ON MORE FREE TIPS

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up

So how well are companies doing at harnessing this potential? Well, if current findings are anything to go by, the answer is, badly. Another Deloitte survey – this time looking at global human capital trends – found that 66% of CEOs surveyed believe they are “weak” in their ability to develop millennial leaders, while only 5% rate themselves as “excellent”. As Katie Fehrenbacher points out in a recent blog post,

“companies that are good at recruiting young talent talk about creating a ‘mission-driven’ culture. Google has known this for years and it’s only one reason why it tackles projects like putting $1 billion into clean power farms across the US … social good is cool.”

More companies need to follow in Google’s mission-driven footsteps if they’re to meet the challenge of attracting, retaining and developing young talent. In an interview with Inc.com, Deloitte’s Josh Bersin sets out three useful strategies to help millennials see the opportunities in a company:

  1. They want face time, so devising leadership programmes that let them spend time with senior leadership can help convince millennials that they could eventually rise to that level too.
  2. They want to jump around and explore new opportunities far more quickly than past generations, so map out vertical and horizontal career paths within your company clearly if you want to hold on to them.
  3. They need a different type of manager, one that focuses on graduating employees into better positions rather than hoarding talent, and giving them the opportunity to grow.

One of the most interesting observations around millennial talent acquisition came from a Stanford Graduate School of Business study that found that 90% of MBAs were willing to eschew financial gain in order to work for a company with a strong commitment to social good. This reinforces the idea that, with sufficient innovation, effective management and leadership development, impact organizations don’t need the big bucks to attract the cream of today’s talent – they need sustainability credentials.

According to an article on Forbes, corporations are seeing potential employees from top universities asking specifically about volunteering and community service, indicating that it is one of the criteria for an “employer of choice”. As the authors put it,

“companies that don’t consider magnifying their community footprint will be held accountable by future potential employees”.

For today’s business world, the key message is that Generation Innovation will lead the way on aligning social and environmental impact with financial performance. The key response is to put strategies in place now to ensure that they’re doing it for your company, not the competitor’s.

Photo by Andrew E. Larsen , via Flickr/ CC BY, cropped from original

This article originally appeared on TriplePundit.com.

comments

You may also like...

A Deep Dive Into Sustainability Careers

Careers in sustainability are increasing in demand but how do you break into this highly competitive market? What are companies looking for in employees and how do you set yourself apart? Whether you are new to sustainability, a recent graduate, looking to make a career change, or looking to advance your current career in sustainability, this discussion hosted by Net Impact Amsterdam is for you.  DON’T MISS OUTON MORE FREE TIPS Sign Up For Our Newsletter Sign up  

By Shannon Houde
12 of the best courses to bolster your sustainability credentials

Sustainability is always evolving. As are the expectations of organisations. The only way to stay ahead of the curve is to regularly set aside time for professional development. But with an abundance of courses to pick from, which ones deserve your time?   As Mahatma Gandhi said: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”   DON’T MISS OUTON MORE FREE TIPS Sign Up For Our Newsletter Sign up The success of any career or company depends on a willingness

By Shannon Houde
6 reasons why it’s ok to hate networking

It might be billed as one of the best ways to get ahead but in reality, relentless networkers end up making more enemies than friends. Is there anything worse than that person who LOVES networking? We’ve all met them. There you are standing at a conference minding your own business when they barrel in, reel off their resume, drop a few high powered names and thrust a business card (“it’s new, embossed, cost a fortune”) into your hand. DON’T MISS

By Shannon Houde
How ESG issues can become even more relevant in times of market crisis

As a Brit based in Santa Monica, California, Daniel E. Ingram is the chair of investment advisory company Wilshire’s ESG and Diversity Committee. Wilshire, which has more than $72 billion in assets under management and $1 trillion in assets under advisement, recruited Ingram in 2017 as part of an effort to expand its ESG and socially responsible investing capabilities. Previously, Ingram was head of responsible investing for BT Pension Scheme, the United Kingdom’s largest corporate retirement plan. Ingram is also

By Shannon Houde

NEED SOME SUPPORT?

Book a 30-minute trial session with Shannon

BOOK A TRIAL