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Now it’s cool to be kind – how to tempt in the millennials

Lowry Jonathan

18 August 2016

Research by Net Impact has revealed that nearly 60% of millennials say they are willing to accept a smaller salary in order to work for an employer that shares their values. Furthermore, according to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016, 56% have turned away from a potential employer due to its perceived standards of conduct.

This is a generation characterised by self-confidence and by an outlook where risks do determine behaviour. It’s no surprise that start-up culture is booming; during 2015 alone, 608,100 new businesses were started. Tech-savvy, values-driven, the millennial cohort has launched numerous genuine game changers.

Three which have caught our eye are:

  • Food cloud– an app developed by an Irish student duo which links surplus supermarket food with local organisations in need.
  • Unforgettable– when James Ashwell’s mother developed dementia he set out to fill the gaping hole in the market for a consolidated bank of resources and products for both sufferers and carers. With an estimated 47.5 million sufferers worldwide, he has discovered a huge and un-tapped market.
  • Good Gym– “Arose out of a frustration with normal gyms being a waste of energy and human potential” and has inspired a new wave of runners working on community projects and visiting the lonely.

None of the above is a charity – all three are businesses driven by purpose not profit. It would appear that the focus has shifted. Of course, not everyone will run their own business, so how can employers entice the best amongst this most moral of generations?

  • A return to traditional personal goals– The millennial generation don’t aspire to fame and great fortune, rather financial stability and a good work/life balance, so make sensible working hours a priority and encourage team bonding and socialising.
  • Quality not quantity– Explore accrediting the value of the employees’ and business’ work qualitatively. Millennials don’t measure success just in pounds, but are also passionate about quality of product, services and contribution to society.
  • Look after your workforce– Millennials also believe that the key to long term success is prioritising employees whilst maintaining a solid foundation of trust (notably only 5% believed that profit-focused values would result in long-term success).
  • Why not wrap this up nicely and become a B Corp? B Corporation describes B Corps as “for-profit companies certified by the non-profit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency”. Many millennials remain unconvinced that business emphasis is in the right place and B-Corp certification is one step on the way for employers to demonstrate their credentials. Here at Forster, we have achieved B-Corp status which now filters through all aspects of the business. From our choice of suppliers to our office recycling bins, the changes are small tweaks, but cumulatively lead to an embedded culture of sustainable productivity.

44% of this generation expect to leave their current job within two years, but using some of the strategies above should make retention less of a problem with millennials- I should know, I’m one of them.