Sarah Ford | March 11, 2014

Why Millennials Are Not Interested in Your Corporate Service Program

Source: Charities@Work

By Derrick Feldmann

When a Millennial employee swipes their card to gain access to the company’s building, their interests, networks, and personal passions don’t remain at the door.  After all, the concept of work-life balance is not a term with which Millennials are familiar.  They live an environment where work-life blending is the norm.  Like it or not, the lines are blurring.

When it comes to community engagement, the lines are also blurred.  Millennials see their involvement with causes not as a thing that happens outside of work, but as an interest to be explored throughout the day.  The data continues to suggest that Millennials place higher value on companies that offer service and pro-bono, skills-based volunteering opportunities.

If this is the case, then why are Millennial employees not getting involved in your organization’s CSR programming?

The answer lies in how corporations approach volunteer programming, and whether or not they can be an asset in a Millennial’s search for community interaction, experimentation and action.

It is Not About Your Company

Millennials are interested in making things happen in their communities, and look to any institution – their work, home, and/or faith – to channel their passion.  When doing ‘good’ through the company is focused on corporate attention in the process, it will lose its importance with Millennial employees.  Millennials care about the issues, not the company wanting to gain awareness for efforts addressing the issues.  The goal of the company should be to help Millennials channel their passion to causes and experiment with service to find the issues they care about.

It’s About Being Challenged

Millennials are inspired by the opportunity to tackle a challenge, build a prototype that will solve a problem, and create a concrete solution.  Volunteer programming based on long standing relationships with community organizations is appreciated, but may not be personal and challenging to the Millennial.  Identifying and providing opportunities that will challenge their thinking and test their skills will draw them closer to community organizations and ultimately more service.

The Big Question – Why?

Millennials need to know why their participation in service or workplace giving matters.  Not why it matters to the company, but why their work will matter to the people they help.

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