Give more, get more: Why it pays to be generous with the next generation

Charity begins at…work?

Well, not quite. But perhaps it should, if organizations are to truly engage the next generation of their workforce. 

In this year’s Millennial Impact Report, it was found that while millennials – those born in the 1980s and after – might have a reputation for being selfish and surly, 84% of them donate to charity. And with big brands encouraging or even requiring their employees to commit some time to charity, it’s with a keen eye that HR leaders should watch as  International Day of Charity unfolds tomorrow. Now in its third year, the UN mandated day of awareness aims to focus global attention on the charitable, voluntary and philanthropic efforts of people and organizations around the world – millennials included.

What was perhaps even more surprising about the Millennial Impact Report was that of the 84% donating to charity, only 11% had that contribution deducted directly from their pay packet – formerly the preferred method for most.

Maybe, though, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Much has been written about the youngest (and now largest) portion of the workforce, and what exactly motivates them in their careers. Suffice to say it’s a very different picture from what it was ten, twenty or thirty years ago. Gone are the days when a ‘job for life’ or an annual bonus would suffice, and gone too is the 9-5, desk-based office drone. And with one in three recently admitting to checking their work emails at least once a day while on holiday, clearly the expectation of what an employee should be is changing too.

It seems only right, then, that HR should consider exactly how it can meet those changing needs, for both employers and employees. With employee engagement levels at record lows, what can companies be doing to make sure that they get the most out of their employees, and for employees the most out of their work?

As ‘job-hopping’ becomes the new norm for millennials, who spend an average of just 3 years in each job according to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s crucial that HR responds to changing needs and finds new ways to keep workers committed to the company, if they are to retain talent beyond the bare minimum tenure.

Thankfully, the advent of HR analytics is already helping to achieve this, as it allows analysis not only of lag factors like employee engagement, but lead factors like employee experience too. Much still remains to be done though, and basic HR functions from the top down will need to be reviewed to keep up with the future of work as it develops.

To read more about the increasing need for HR analytics, read our recent research report ‘Mind the gap’ here.

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