Gen Z has grown up in a time period full of turbulence, characterised by changes that have massively disrupted the world we live in. From financial crises and global pandemics to environmental disasters and racial reckonings, they've experienced it all during their formative years.
So it's no surprise that as a result, Gen Z is among the most passionate generations when it comes to social issues and activism in general. They're more likely to care about how the things around them impact society's well-being and are just as inclined to align their actions with those that represent their values.
A sense of belonging and purpose is critical to this cohort - whether it be in the communities they live in or the ones that they participate in online. This sense of activism also applies to the companies that they work in. They want to work for employers who share their values and care about the causes they believe in and will shift to a new business if they feel that their beliefs are not reflected by their companies.
That’s why companies are looking at implementing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives as a key part of their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) as they seek to attract and retain talent by showcasing the positive actions they are taking to better the world.
An employee value proposition (EVP) is a statement that outlines what an organisation can offer its employees in return for their skills, experience, and commitment. It's meant to be a compelling reason for talented individuals to want to work for a company, and it's leveraged as a recruiting tool. Companies will use EVPs to effectively connect with job seekers and communicate what they can offer that other organisations cannot.
EVPs are also used internally to engage and motivate employees, highlighting the benefits of their continued involvement with the organization. By doing so, it can help reduce turnover rates and keep key personnel invested in the company's success.
The best EVPs are those that are able to effectively communicate what makes an organization unique and different from others, as well as truly speak to who they're seeking to bring - and keep - on board.
And Gen Z is no exception. For these young talents, it's not enough for a company to simply offer good pay and benefits anymore. They want concise, convincing and compelling reasons why they should dedicate their time to an organisation - outside of the usual monetary compensation. But how do you appeal to this demographic and their priorities? CSR may be the answer.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a company's commitment to operate in an ethical and sustainable manner, taking into account the impact of its business on employees, communities, and the environment.
It's often thought of as a way for businesses to "give back" to society, but it can also be used as a strategy to improve brand image and reputation, attract and retain top talent, and boost employee engagement and morale.
CSR is a multi-faceted effort on behalf of companies who implement it, mainly focusing on the following three pillars.
A core part of Corporate Social Responsibility is the commitment to people it entails. This can manifest in a variety of ways, from ensuring diversity and inclusion in the workplace to providing employees with opportunities for professional development. It also encompasses things like health and safety initiatives, as well as corporate giving programs.
The second pillar of CSR is sustainability and protecting the environment. This often includes things like reducing a company's carbon footprint, using renewable energy, or investing in green initiatives.
The final pillar of CSR is ensuring that the company is profitable and sustainable in the long run. This can be done in a variety of ways, but usually includes things like ethical sourcing and responsible marketing.
Being as diversified in thought as they are, Gen Zers bring a lot of value to the workplace. They're known for being independent and resourceful, always looking for new and innovative ways to get things done. Additionally, their global perspective gives them a unique lens through which to view the world, which can be an asset in many applications.
These traits have made Gen Z a highly sought-after demographic when it comes to employment, with organizations across the board doing everything they can to appeal to these young professionals.
As the most socially conscious generation to date, it's no surprise that Gen Z is extremely passionate about CSR. In fact, according to a study by DoSomething.org, 75% of Gen Zers said they would take a pay cut to work for a more socially responsible company.
It's clear that this generation wants to work for organizations that are making a positive impact on the world - and they're willing to sacrifice their own personal gain to do so.
For companies, this presents a unique opportunity to connect with Gen Z job seekers and demonstrate that they are an organisation worth working for. By investing in CSR initiatives, companies can show that they care about more than just profit - they're also committed to making a difference.
There are a few key ways that companies can incorporate CSR into their EVPs in order to appeal to Gen Z job seekers.
The first is by being transparent about their CSR efforts. This means being clear about what initiatives they're involved in and why they're doing them. It's not enough to simply say that you're committed to CSR - you need to be able to back it up with concrete examples.
The second way to incorporate CSR into your EVP is by making it a priority for the entire organization - not just a select few. This means involving employees in planning and implementation, as well as giving them opportunities to get involved in the initiatives themselves. The more ownership employees feel over the CSR efforts, the more engaged they'll be in supporting them.
Finally, companies need to be prepared to commit to their CSR initiatives for the long haul. This means having a plan in place for how they'll continue to support and improve upon their efforts over time. It's not enough to simply implement a few initiatives and then move on - organizations need to be prepared to make CSR a lasting part of their business.
Organisations that are able to successfully incorporate CSR into their EVPs are in a strong position to attract and retain top Gen Z talent. By doing so, they'll not only improve their chances of success in the future - they'll also be making a positive impact on the world.
It is because of these factors that Little Phil, a non-profit micro philanthropy platform has launched its Company Giving initiative. It is designed for companies seeking to support the not-for-profit industry and helps small-to-medium businesses in particular to scale their impact programs.
Company Giving is a positive spin on the current system for workplace giving, which is outdated and involves salary sacrificing. Instead the Company gifts a monthly donation amount to their employees and employees choose the charities & causes to distribute the funds. However, the company can still accrue impact while retaining the tax benefits of donating.
To learn more about how Little Phil can help your business create its own EVP through Company Giving click here.