Organisations are slowly waking up to deal with the multitude of social problems that exist in the ecosystem, both inside and outside the organisation. Every organisation can be a social enterprise, the responsibility to lead the way rests with HR.
Some companies are more than a hundred years old, but they are transforming their policies and practices to give momentum to the shift. Somewhere, the credit for this goes to the young entrants who have recently joined the workplace.
The millennials, despite being the youngest at the workplace, make sure that they are heard loud and clear. They are notably aware of social issues and keep a keen eye on the stand that their organisation takes. The choice that millennials make is quite apparent from the type of internships they do during college, they are interested in social matters and quite a few of them start their professional journeys interning with non-profit organisations. In addition, a lot of them turn into social entrepreneurs.
A 2019 Deloitte study, Global Human Trends, reports that 44 per cent of business and HR leaders surveyed feel social enterprise issues are more important to the organisation than they were three years ago. About 56 per cent expect them to be even more important three years from now.
“There is no doubt that the young millennials value purpose over a paycheque. They look for socially evolved organisations that have a robust culture”
An organisation can become a social enterprise when it aligns its core objective—profit-making— with the need to respect and support its internal and external environment. In other words, it has to actively transform its practices to keep up with the trends that are shaping today’s world.
While baby boomers thrived in an environment that was socio-economically stable, the millennials today are exposed to a lot of uncertainties in the ecosystem with respect to climate control, politics, economics, and politics.
“The ENTIRE fabric of people processes has become extremely inclusive and transparent. Also, when an organisation operates out of multiple countries it helps to evolve its people practices”
Sachin Narke, head-HR (GIC) and chief learning officer (group), Forbes Marshall, tells us that 60 per cent of the employees are below 35 years of age. He not only finds this very relevant and worth discussing, but also feels that HR should put their minds to expediting the transformation, which is presently happening very slowly.
Narke says, “There is no doubt that the young millennials value purpose over a paycheque. They look for socially evolved organisations that have a robust culture. HR needs to sensetise all the departments to bring about a change. The effort must be made from all stakeholders of a business”
Further, the same Deloitte report states that 49 per cent millennials, would if they had a choice quit their current jobs in the next two years. In the 2017 report, that number was 38 per cent. These are not idle threats: About a quarter of those saying they would leave within two years reported leaving an employer in the past 24 months. This is a challenge for companies seeking a stable workforce.
Abhay Srivastava, chief talent officer, Cipla, says, “In a short span of time, we have come very far in matters such as D&I, transparency of pay and equity amongst the employees. In the last three to four years, if I were to look at Cipla, the entire fabric of people processes has become extremely inclusive and transparent. Also, when an organisation operates out of multiple countries it helps to evolve its people practices. There is no doubt that the push to change is coming from the bottom”
Until the C-suite churn out innovative practices from its R & D labs, they will fail to retain the young talent in their workforce who demand more with respect to internal policies on diversity, inclusion, fairness, and equity at work.
Just being fair to the employees is not enough, this cohort, wants their employers to be equitable to the customers and remain fair with government and tax obligations.
Forbes Marshalls claims to have a very low attrition rate because the basic values of their leadership align with the youngsters, “We have about 1500 members who closely interact with the leadership and see them walk the talk,” concludes Narke.