Like Honey to a Bee – Why Do Millennials Like Purpose Driven Companies

purpose driven companies

By 2025, millennials are expected to make 75% of the global workforce. With this in mind, attracting and keeping your millennial workforce should take utmost priority for your company’s long-term health. And the sooner you understand how a millennial’s mind works, the better your chances of copping the cream of the crop.

A recent study conducted by CONE shows that, “Three-Quarters of Millennials would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company.” And these individuals are willing to make concessions only to achieve their own definition of success.

This can be the result of several factors, millennials being highly-idealistic, or generally because of a strong economy which gives people flexibility in terms of selecting job opportunities.

To better understand millennials and give businesses a better understanding of how a millennial’s mind ticks, we have come up with a list of why millennials like purpose driven companies. This can help you develop strategies to attract the best minds in the fastest growing workforce and drive them to your company.


Millennials are more concerned with the “Whys” than the “How Much”

More and more, people are putting their wallets where their hearts are. And leading this charge are millennials, whether through their grocery carts or the companies they choose to work with.

Younger adults are willing to work for lower wages if these means contributing to a higher social cause. Call it youth, call it rebellion, even you have been guilty of this during your younger years.

Millennials who have a better appreciation of the people who they work for are more likely to show loyalty and perform better at work. With this in mind, companies who focus on the why’s of its business rather than its profit margins are more likely to keep their millennial employees who make 35% of the U.S. labor force.

In a 2016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement study showed:

  •         Three-quarters of millennials would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company
  •         83% would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues (vs. 70% U.S. average)
  •         76% of millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work (vs. 58% U.S. average)


Millennials want to be contributors, not just employees

You see it everywhere, young, purpose-driven companies outperforming their well-established profit-oriented counterparts. Companies who can demonstrate purpose and meaning for its products and services do not only bring added value to its customers but more importantly, instills a sense of pride in its employees.   

The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018 shows that 78 percent of millennials are strongly attracted to innovative companies. Millennials tend to be  highly motivated individuals that genuinely want to make a positive change to the world. Working in an innovative company gives them the opportunity to be contributors to this change.

Purpose-driven companies create better relations with their suppliers, customers and are likely to attract highly-motivated employees. Millennials who work for these companies feel more accomplished. More than employees, they feel they are contributors to a good cause.


Millennials look for personal satisfaction, not task accomplishment

Millennials, in general, have a genuine distaste for bureaucracies and traditional corporations. This is because traditional working environments measure performance by the amount of work an employee can accomplish. The corporations bottom line focusing on profit, with little or no regard of the impact of their actions.


To get millennials on board, they must have a sincere appreciation of what they are doing. A purpose-driven company helps to satisfy this need by giving them a sense of personal satisfaction.

A Viacom International Media Networks study conducted in 2012 showed:

  •         46 percent of millennials defined being successful as having a job you enjoy” versus 36 percent who said, “Being rich.”
  •         Millennials in China are the most stressed (51 percent) and millennials in Poland the least (23 percent)

There are more millennials in China than the entire U.S. Population. In fact, nearly nine out of ten millennials live in emerging economies. Countries like China where its work ethic and culture are geared towards productivity, but in a country like the U.S. with a more mature millennial population, a 9 to 5 job that consists of finishing tasks from A to Z just won’t do.  

Today’s millennials are more about purpose rather than volume of work. And by working with purpose-driven companies, they are able to enjoy a deeper appreciation of what they have accomplished.


Millennials love companies who are socially responsible

78 percent of millennials believe that companies should have a responsibility of helping build a better world. Millennials are all about being a part of an advocacy and contributing to society. Working for a purpose-driven company helps fill their need to be productive members of society.


84% of millennials say that making a difference takes precedence over professional recognition. A company who communicates a clear sense of purpose makes it easier for its employees to understand how their work contributes to this mission.



Finding purpose at work – Millennials and purpose-driven companies

Almost two-thirds of millennials feel they are not actively engaged at work. This lack of passion can be attributed to a company’s failure to create a situation where its employees can find meaning in their work. Purpose-driven companies provide a clear direction and the fuel to inspire their employees producing honey that attracts the bee.


Jeff Butler

Jeff Butler Internationally respected speaker and consultant, Jeff Butler helps bridge generational gaps between Millennials and companies looking for their talent and patronage. Butler has quickly built his reputation as a memorable presenter with tangible solutions for attracting, retaining, and engaging Millennials as employees and customers. Within just the past three years, he has spoken at two TEDx events and multiple Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Amazon, and LinkedIn.


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