Corporate social responsibility is important to employees, and businesses are starting to view it as a central component to recruitment and retention strategies. Millennials and Gen Z pay close attention to whether or not a company’s mission aligns with their own values: they are less likely to trust firms that they perceive do not have their customer’s or community’s interests at heart.
In fact, 75%  of millennials said they would be willing to earn less if their job gave them purpose, and 69%  of both millennials and Gen Z’ers would stay at a company for more than five years if it were perceived to offer inclusion and diversity. From a retention perspective, this speaks volumes since 21%  of millennials say they have changed jobs within the past year – more than three times the number of non-millennials who report the same.
Businesses that want to stay competitive in the hiring market know that they must evolve and meet millennial and Gen Z expectations for social purpose. Tech companies like Google, Dell, and Salesforce are paving the way by weaving “doing good” into their core business strategy. Even a traditional sector like finance is sprouting new and innovative FinTech companies who are not only creating purpose-driven narratives but also bringing them to life. One way they’re accomplishing this is through live events and partnerships with community-based organizations.
Engaging with the community or a non-profit to educate, fundraise, or socialize is a great way to make an impact. Online investment company Betterment invited Refugees Welcome, a movement dedicated to bringing refugees and non-refugees together to break bread and barriers, to a hosted dinner at their headquarters. Betterment’s mission, to empower people to do what’s best for their money so they can live better, is exemplified.
Cloud computing service Salesforce is renowned for their CSR approach and emphasis of equality in the workplace. Their nationwide event series MakeChange highlights business and cultural leaders who are using their platforms for positive change. The purpose of the series is to host discussions around local and national issues led by change agents who are making a difference in their communities today. The tech career ecosystem is one of the fastest growing industries, but it is also one of the least diverse. This intermingling of industries and passions allows for exposure to new perspectives. Above, Chef Roy Choi discussed ways to bring healthy, affordable food and employment opportunities to low-income communities. After the discussion, everyone headed outside to eat at Choi’s Kogi truck while DJ Anthony Valdez entertained the crowd.
FinTech company LendUp hosts quarterly team building events and fireside chats with local student groups to discuss tech careers, college, and startup life. These kinds of events help their mission of providing anyone with a path to better financial health ring true. Hosting a small networking event with college students is pretty simple, but it has a larger purpose – to integrate inclusivity and education into their business model. Providing employees with an opportunity to teach valuable skills and local students with an opportunity to learn is naturally symbiotic.
Businesses like Betterment, Salesforce, and LendUp are proving that corporate success is possible even if you dedicate effort, funding, and time toward creating a moment that helps others, connects the community, and prioritizes the values of the most valuable stakeholders – employees.