The rise of the 'social enterprise' is changing how businesses interact with society
- Millennials think businesses should be measured by their corporate citizenship, not just their financial performance, according to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017. About 86% of millennials value businesses as much for their citizenry as their bottom lines; 77% cited corporate citizenship as "important" or "very important"; and 76% see businesses as a force for positive social change.
- In other survey findings, organizations are feeling compelled to do more social good for their employees, customers, communities and society as a whole. People are increasingly looking to business to fill a leadership void in addressing critical issues such as healthcare, income inequality, diversity and cybersecurity.
- Technological advances, such as artificial intelligence and new ways of communication, are changing the way work gets done — making the traditional career model extinct, survey results show. Although nearly half of the respondents (47%) consider building new skills and career models as "very important," more than 54% of workplaces have no programs for building future skills, and only 18% of companies provide employees with opportunities to develop themselves.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the workplace has seen new life, particularly among millennials. Companies that strive to be good corporate citizens are more often seen as businesses of choice among consumers and potential job applicants.
CSR and corporate citizenship aren't new concepts. But companies that create volunteer opportunities and encourage employee participation have shown to have better employee engagement and an improved employee brand — increasingly key for recruitment efforts. Employers have also found considerable value in taking stands on policy decisions affecting workers and generally having a stronger public voice; employees seem to want such engagement from their employers, especially on on issues that impact the business.
However, being a good corporate citizen requires an ethical approach to doing business in employees' eyes. HR executives can lead their organizations in establishing codes of conduct and ethical principles on which all business decisions and actions are based.