Millennials expect employers to take a stand on political and social issues


The Glassdoor survey reveals that the younger workers expect their organisations to be more socially responsible.

We know that companies avoid taking a stand on important political and social issues, fearing public outrage and most importantly, a negative impact on the brand. A survey by Glassdoor, however, has found that employees today want their companies to take a stand on these matters as it will have a positive effect on their businesses and also the lives of the employees.

The survey found that about 84 per cent of the employees in the US believe that companies have an important voice in legislation, regulation and executive orders, which affect their business and employees. Recently, many countries restricted the market to foreign companies, and it is time that companies voice their say because their business is affected.

The survey revealed that the younger employees (millennials) want their companies to take a stand on these matters. About 75 per cent of them, aged 18–34 years, expect their employers to take a stand on issues that affect the country, their constitutional rights, immigration policies, equal rights and climate change. However, only 67 per cent aged between 35 and 44, and 49 per cent aged 45 or above, expect the employers to take a stand on these issues.

Dawn Lyon, Glassdoor chief reputation officer and senior vice president of global corporate affairs, said that “Today’s informed candidates want to work for companies that are actively engaged on topics that directly impact their lives and align with their beliefs. The question is, how and when should employers approach hot-button topics without damaging their employer brand or recruiting success?”

He further adds that “Employers should know that taking action is not a one-size-fits-all model. When determining how and when to engage on timely issues, it is important for employers to keep the company’s mission and core values on top of their minds to guide decisions. The big takeaway for employers is that today’s candidates, especially younger job seekers, want to work with companies that take a stand and take action.”

We know that companies hire employees from different countries for the success of the business. The survey found that more than half of the employees and job seekers (58 per cent) believe that legal immigrant workers are critical for the overall success of the business. Interestingly, more men (63 per cent) than women (54 per cent) believe that immigrant workers are critical for the success of the business.

Companies have become more socially responsible than before. Now, they are contributing more towards society through their CSR activities. The survey reveals that more millennials expect their employers to support groups and individuals in need, in their respective communities, through donations or volunteer efforts. Around 81 per cent, aged between 18 and 34, feel this way. 76 per cent aged between 35 and 44 also feel the same. 68 per cent aged between 45 and 54, 73 percent aged 55–64 and 66 per cent aged 65 or above expect their organisations to extend support to the needy.

Most of the activities organised towards social causes by companies is done outside of the working hours. But 51 per cent of the surveyed employees expect their employers to use work hours and resources to advocate social change. The younger employees expect this more from their employers.

While interfering in the government orders and policies may have a negative effect on the companies, it is time for companies to have their say on the policies, which affect their business.

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