’Purposeful’ volunteerism a powerful tool for millennial engagement
Employers with an active volunteerism program can be a magnet for millennial talent who desire a strong service component in the workplace. Instilling purpose into donating time is key to engaging young workers with both the company's culture and its philanthropic goals.
Research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that people age 20 to 24 are the least likely to volunteer, but those figures don't tell the whole story. According to theMillennial Impact Report, 77 percent of millennials said they would be more likely to volunteer "when they can use their specific skills or expertise to benefit a cause. This group also "preferred to perform volunteer work with groups of fellow employees as opposed to do doing independent service projects."
Companies that provide a meaningful volunteer experience connect employees to the precise reason why their volunteerism makes a difference. So-called transformational experiences - such as cleaning up a local green space - highlight how an organization's work is having a tangible effect on the community.
Harnessing milllennials' passions is "crucial" for businesses that aim to "build a culture that resonates with this growing demographic of current and future employees," the impact report states.
Sustained volunteer involvement means helping millennial employees create their own purpose-driven opportunities. The millennial study, released by Achieve Consulting Inc., contains several suggestions on how to build a strong platform of youth-driven volunteerism:
* Find skill-based projects that make a demonstrable impact
* Create volunteer opportunities that emphasize teamwork and group involvement
* Expose workers to corporate and nonprofit leaders that assist the volunteer in building their business network
* Integrate volunteering into a person's growth opportunities, an area of particular importance to a generation of employees that value meaning in their careers
For companies, creating and clearly defining purpose in millennial giving activities can keep these youthful employees happy for what is hopefully years to come.
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