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Over Half Your Potential Employees Seek Strong CSR Commitments

By Anum Yoon

It’s no secret that most millennial professionals today expect more from their employer than simply a paycheck. Don’t be mislead, though — it isn’t just about a great benefits package, either. Employees today are looking for work that has a passion and purpose — with the opportunity to give back.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) may be a buzzphrase right now, but the growing success and popularity of businesses that have already integrated these types of programs into their mission have proven that work with purpose is not only a pipe dream. It’s something talented professionals are demanding.

Engaging with positive intent

A recent study from Cone Communications presents some extremely persuasive evidence to support the hypothesis that CSR is the business of the future — and it isn’t only for millennials. Ninety-three percent of the study’s participants said working for a company that cares about their individual employees was the type of employer they were looking for.

On top of this high percentage, 64 percent of people want to see causes they care about as part of their normal benefits package. Employees are looking for a company that engages with their personal life in a positive way — whether it’s striving for environmentally-friendly operations or donating to a good cause. Even small steps to ensure decrease in the company's impact on the environment by increasing energy efficiency at the workplace or cutting down paper usage sends out a positive message that people want to hear.  People want a workplace that feeds their passion and doesn’t leave them feeling drained at the end of a work day.

CSR actually improves retention and attracts talent

With so many more professionals wanting a larger fulfillment out of their work life, they are also most likely to look longer and harder for the company that has the right fit. A 2012 survey by Net Impact cited that 53 percent of professionals sought employment that made a positive impact, and 72 percent of college seniors preparing to enter the workforce also agreed this point was important to their happiness — both also cited that they would take a pay cut if a company had these qualities.

In the same Cone Communications study, seven in ten individuals also agreed that they would have a greater sense of loyalty to a company that made contributions to the causes they cared about. So, attracting great talent isn’t just about the dollar bills anymore. A contemporary benefits package needs to include solid CSR initiatives. If you want to attract the best, you need to offer the best — and that means different things to millennials and other young professionals.

Gen Xers and millennials continue to dominate the workforce

Young professionals between the ages of 27-44 now make up the largest segment of the workforce, and social and environmental issues have taken center stage, with mature millennials polling at 79 percent and Gen Xers at 68 percent — both numbers significantly higher than the national average of 58 percent.

Often times, companies think the millennial workforce is the only group interested in the development and expansion of CSR. However, the Cone Communications study also highlights that CSR is also a trend young leaders and managers care about as well — and they’re a group that should be included when it comes to CSR initiative considerations.

It’s even more apparent that ‘business as usual’ will not be what these groups of professionals want in the future. With millennials officially taking over half the active workforce by 2020, your company is going to want to get on the CSR train sooner rather than later if you want to remain competitive in the constantly evolving economy. Utilize your experienced management and engage with them as well. CSR isn’t simply just for the entry-level professionals — it’s a way to engage with everyone.

When you implement CSR into your company’s core of operation, you’ll have happier and more excited employees, even at the management level. This will ultimately lead to greater productivity and talent retention, not to mention actively helping make the world a better place. No matter how you look at it, CSR is a win/win for your company.

 Image credit: Pexels/ Tim Gouw

Anum Yoon is a writer who is passionate about personal finance and sustainability. She often looks for ways she can incorporate money management with environmental awareness. You can read her updates on <a href="http://www.currentoncurrency.com>Current on Currency</a>.

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