Millennial employees – those born in the past 20 years - prefer joining a company-wide or team-specific volunteer project rather than merely donating to a fundraising campaign. In addition, their decision to accept a job is influenced by the company’s connections to the community, and whether they are seen as making a difference in the world. Those are among the findings in the 2014 Millennial Impact Report, issued by Indianapolis-based Achieve.
The annual survey found that companies need to build relationships with millennial employees to spark their passions and create opportunities to engage both their professional and personal interests. The findings indicated that employers should develop what was described as a triple platform of involvement – company-wide, department-based and interest-driven.
While only 39 percent of Millennials researched their company’s “cause work” prior to their interview, 55 percent said they were influenced to take their job after discussing cause work in their interview. Notably, 92 percent of the Millennials surveyed felt they were working for a company that was making a positive impact on the world.
In the Greater Hartford area, the survey findings would be no surprise to the leadership of HYPE (Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs). Their mission, “to help young professionals become better engaged in community life,” responds to their generation’s strong desire to have a meaningful community connection, at work and in life. HYPE, which is administered by the MetroHartford Alliance, has 4,000 members, and climbing.
Their efforts have been integral to Hartford’s efforts to promote a more vibrant downtown, and to boost involvement with a range of organizations and agencies that strengthen the fabric of the city. The organization’s website offers nearly two dozen volunteer activities in the community for members, but makes clear that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Greater New Haven has a similar organization, PULSE, a program of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce and the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce.
Throughout the first four years of the Millennial Impact Project, the following trends emerged and evolved:
- Millennials engage with causes to help other people, not institutions.
- Millennials support issues rather than organizations.
- Millennials prefer to perform smaller actions before fully committing to a cause.
- Millennials are influenced by the decisions and behaviors of their peers.
- Millennials treat all their assets (time, money, network, etc.) as having equal value.
- Millennials need to experience an organization’s work without having to be on site.
The report indicates that "this is a generation that has grown up with a new way of learning. Asking questions in a non-linear fashion and then finding the answers -- all while connecting with their peers, friends and colleagues to make change happen. Today's Millennials are transforming communities, relieving suffering and pursuing social change in a way that may run counter to the traditional ways of organizing, but it's because they are wired to work differently -- collaboratively, transparently, interactively, and entrepreneurially -- to affect positive change in their local communities and around the world."
Achieve, in partnership with the Case Foundation, leads the national research team of The Millennial Impact Project, which they describe as the most comprehensive and trusted study on Millennial (age 20-30) involvement with causes.