How to Un-Jade Millennials in the Workplace?

Advancing SDG 8 & 9: Foster Meaningful Work and Innovation

Millennials desire meaningful work. This means they are in constant search for value in their careers.

According to Deloitte’s recent Millennial Survey, 77 percent of millennials were involved with a charity or a “good cause”.The survey found that millennials care about several issues in the world and are keen to make an impact. However, it is primarily through their workplace that they feel most impactful.

The problem is, over 60 percent of Canada’s millennials agree with the culture of job hopping, according to Robert Half, the world’s largest specialized staffing firm.

Millennials tend to seek job opportunities that empower them for positive impact, and are likely to feel disengaged with current work responsibilities where this is not the case. This is a major issue as millennials make up the largest generation in the workforce today.

The Canadian HR Reporter reported that Millennial turnover can cost employers from 30 percent to 150 percent of the yearly salary of hourly employees.

So, how to captivate young talent to stay? 

It begins with understanding who millennials are in order to cultivate a workplace that brings out the best in them. 

1. They are purpose-driven: 40 percent follow or take an active interest, and 30 percent are active volunteers/organizers according to Deloitte’s recent Millennial Survey.

2. They are entrepreneurial and innovative: Millennials have seen unprecedented development that impacts their everyday life from the rise of technology, and they want to invent their own wheel as well. 66 percent of millennials had goals to start their own business found in a study by the Arizona State University

3. They are passionate learners: The 2018 Merck State of Curiosity Report found that millennials were the most curious and the most positive about the importance of innovation in the workplace. 61 percent of millennials believe that investing in curiosity to drive innovation is a sound investment.

Many millennials feel unable to exert any meaningful influence on some of society’s biggest challenges; but, in the workforce, they feel a greater sense of control. Here, they can become active participants through their daily work. 

Therefore, companies have to engage their young professionals meaningfully by providing them with platforms to express their ideas and opportunities to be entrepreneurial. 

In this spirit, UN Global Compact and Global Compact Network Canada are launching the Young SDG Innovators Program (YSIP), offering an exciting opportunity for companies to invest in their young professionals to drive innovation and further the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  YSIP aims to equip young professionals with the knowledge, tools and skills they would require to take their initiatives from ideas into tangible projects that solve the SDG challenges faced by their companies. 

Not only will this provide your young professionals with greater ownership for the impact of their ideas, but this will also enable them to network and learn with other global teams involved in the program, developing problem solving skills and gaining experience in local and global sustainability issues.

The local and global nature of this program allows millennials to make impact at multiple levels, including in their workplace, providing them with a greater sense of influence of their activities. 

This is an important point for businesses to acknowledge as it offers a platform from which to build each employee’s sense of purpose and, ultimately, a more engaged workforce.

Un-Jading millennials  requires effort to help the workforce constantly rediscover meaning in the work they do.

To nominate your firm to join YSIP: