Now this is encouraging: New research finds that millennials are prone to leave their jobs when they experience a values gap between themselves and the workplace culture – particularly around sustainability issues.
The fact that many people of all ages are conflicted by negative workplace experiences is well-documented by the many – and repeated – surveys and polls. They report great dissatisfaction and dislike with their management and leadership culture, overall. But most tend to suffer emotionally and physically; frozen in place, perhaps from fear of losing what they already have, or insecurity about change per se.
But millennials appear to have a different mentality altogether. A summary of this new study from the University of Missouri reports that a major reason millennials tend to job hop – which is well known about them — is that they feel a disconnect between their personal values and the workplace culture. As one of the researchers, Rachel LoMonaco-Benzing explained, “Not only did we find a gap, but we also found that workers were much more likely to leave a job if they felt their values were not reflected in the workplace.”
But most interesting in its implications for the future of business is the study’s findings that the workers’ greatest frustration occurred when their company claimed a commitment to environmental sustainability but didn’t follow through in, for example:
- Materials selection, including the use of recycled materials
- Proper management of pollutants, including chemicals and dyes
- Working conditions in textile factories
- Product packaging, distribution and marketing to consumers
Co-author Jung Ha-Brookshire, added “They have been raised with a sense of pro-social, pro-environment values, and they are looking to be engaged. If they find that a company doesn’t honor these values and contributions, many either will try to change the culture or find employment elsewhere.”’
In the summary of their findings, the researchers encourage companies to understand that the new generation of workers have high ethical and social expectations. Being transparent with potential employees about corporate culture can head-off some frustration, they said. In addition, giving employees the opportunity to shape cultural decisions through membership on committees and outreach efforts will help to increase morale.
I think this is another sign to the industry that ‘business as usual’ is not going to work if you want to attract and retain these valuable workers,” Ha-Brookshire said.
Credit: People HRO