We can thank millennials for quite a lot when it comes to the way we work.
Perhaps Generation Y set out to change the average corporate structure because many of them watched their parents punch in a timecard and pay their dues at a job that was stable, but not necessarily fulfilling. Perhaps those millennials visited their parents’ dreary cubicles and sensed the tension in the air. Maybe they saw their mom or dad stress about their kids getting sick, which would force them to ask for time off – because heaven forbid they suggest working from home.
Whatever the case was, when millennials began to join the workforce themselves, they looked at their parents’ way of working and said, “Nope. Not me.”
But instead of running off to join the circus and avoiding the office job all-together, they collectively changed it.
In general, those belonging to Generation Y do not see themselves as ‘indentured employees.’ They view their relationship with their employer as a partnership, where both sides should benefit, instead of their employer receiving the majority of value produced from their hard work. This has forced companies to re-examine how they treat their employees in order to retain a productive workforce that helps their organization continually grow.
Millennials have also demanded that corporations instill a sense of humanity, which has manifested itself in flexible work hours for a better work / life balance, collaborative workspaces to inspire innovation, and maybe the most impactful, corporate responsibility to efficiently make the world a better place just by going to work every day.
According to a recent survey, 75 percent of millennials would take a paycut to work for a socially responsible company. This forward-thinking generation wants their work to be backed by a purpose, which explains why 64 percent of millennials won’t take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong corporate responsibility practices.Their desire to make an impact on the world is what motivates them to be dedicated employees, leading to better organizational performance as a whole.
Yes, the rise of corporate responsibility might be millennials’ greatest legacy.
Whether you are a millennial or not, you might consider working like one! Here are just a few reasons why you should work for a socially responsible company:
Commitment to Your Community
It feels good to be a part of something greater than ourselves. It’s what drives ambitious individuals and keeps us engaged and happy.
Microsoft understands this fact, which is why the software giant created the Microsoft giving program and Microsoft Philanthropies. The giving program is focused on employees spending time volunteering and the company investing cash into different communities around the world. So far, employees have volunteered over 5 million hours and the company is on track to give $2 billion by 2020.
We all need time away from the stress of office work to re-energize. Millennials have been showing the rest of us that they get recharged by working within their communities. When we have more energy and focus, we bring that passion into the workplace and productivity benefits.
Career-minded leaders are constantly trying to better themselves by learning new skills, while keeping their old ones sharp. Behemoth organizations like Google believe that employees must be continually developed in order for them to perform at the highest level possible.
Google allows employees to use 20 percent of their time to work on side projects, which has manifested in some pretty amazing “giving back” initiatives. One such project is the “Mind the Gap” program, which was founded by two female engineers who set out to foster more women in STEM roles. These seasoned tech pros welcomed junior high and high school-aged girls to visit Google and took the time to pass on their wisdom.
Projects like these not only change the lives of the young people they were designed for, but allow employees to exercise their knowledge and work on their communication skills.
Through my corporate experiences, I have found that when we experience personal leadership through community involvement we apply our learnings not only in our personal lives, but our professional lives. We gain a sense of pride and confidence by helping others that we model back in our work environments.
Gaining Skill Sets
At YapStone, we encourage our team to grow their careers within the company. Career development doesn’t just mean moving up in the company, it can mean developing your skills within your current job. Some of this development is done through our giving back initiatives.
YapStone chose to focus its community project on homelessness, because we process the payments for apartments and vacation homes and it seemed like a natural fit. In any given month, our team puts together care packages for homeless children, fills backpacks with baby essentials for first-time homeless mothers, writes letters to homeless teen moms, works together at local shelters, and even goes into the poorest areas of Oakland to distribute food. We’ve seen tremendous leaders emerge from these activities.
Two of our “YapSters” that enter into the poorest neighborhoods of Oakland to distribute food to the homeless are demonstrating skill development. You can see their most recent visit here.
This simple act of kindness displays some of the greatest qualities of leaders: courage, accountability, dedication, integrity and generosity. Through their community involvement, this dynamic pair are developing skills that are essential to their job while working outside the boundaries of their day job.
Work plays a major part in your life since it is where you spend eight or more hours of your day. Therefore, you want to be a part of a company that promotes a culture truly focused on your happiness as an employee.
It is scientifically proven that happy employees are more productive. For career-minded folks, increased productivity can also lead to even more happiness.
Millennials show us that satisfaction within job doesn’t necessarily derive solely from the nature of the work you do, but the level of involvement you have within the community your company works within. Volunteering in causes that mean something to you, while being paid, drives a level of commitment to the company that surpasses many traditional forms of monetary recognition.
“Giving back” has had an incredible impact on countless individuals. If you are on the hunt for a new job, I would encourage you to make corporate social responsibility one of your deciding factors as you weigh your options. Look for programs that really hit home for you, so that you can feel great about the impact you’re making. As you do this, you’ll start to build a cycle of positivity in your own life as you create a better world for others.