It used to be enough for a company to sponsor a local Little League team or join the United Way fund drive. No longer. Millenials, who will soon make up 50 percent of the U.S. workforce, don’t think that’s enough. And neither do we.
Great companies don’t think of social responsiblity as a sideshow, it’s at the core of what they stand for. Look at Tata Motors and the Nano: they invested $3 billion in trying make a car cheap enough that it could sell for the price of a scooter and get people into safer transportation. They didn’t just want to make a product or a profit, they wanted to make a difference.
People today want more than a paycheck. They want to be part of work or a company that stands for something. And so do investors.
This was sparked by an interesting article by Michelle Nunn in the Washington Post.
Millennials, as consumers, are pushing companies to change the ways of doing business to align with the values of civic and global responsibility largely held by Millennials. Monitoring supply chains, safeguarding labor and environmental conditions for the creation of products and embracing environmental sustainability have become basic requirements to preserve relationships with customers and retain young employees. A recent market study by the public relations firm Edelman shows that consumers now expect brands to support causes. Many companies are responding to this market shift in ways that integrate causes fully into their business strategy and brand identities.