Winston Churchill said it best when he said, “We make a living by what we get, and we make a life by what we give.” In this blog post I would like to discuss the topic of volunteering. Volunteering for a purpose or cause that is important to you gives individuals a feeling of accomplishment. It allows people to contribute to something bigger than themselves.
When reading about the millennial generation, a key success factor in keeping them engaged is having a sense of purpose that they can relate to. For example, in a previous blog post, I asked Vanessa Wehrkamp an HR Generalist with Kinross Gold, “What do you like most about working for Kinross Gold?” She simply replied that she enjoyed working for a company that “practiced what they preached.” She expressed that Kinross’s values aligned with her own and she felt that her company walked the walk rather than just talking the talk.
I also received a similar answer in my interview with Morgan Iveson who is a Research Assistant with Charles River. She expressed that she loved her job because it gave her a strong sense of purpose. She felt that her work was extremely important because her small part could potentially contribute to a large cause or cure that could end up helping millions of people in the future. Her work gives her a strong sense of pride.
So what we can gather from these interviews? It is that Millennial’s need to feel that they have a purpose. They need to feel like they are able to contribute, and feel pride in that contribution. Now your company may not be in the business of mining gold or researching cures but there is a way you can provide your millennial workforce with that sense of purpose; Volunteering. By allowing your employees to volunteer individually, as a team, or as a company it can bring people together. It gives people a solid foundation in which to build strong working relationships with each other. Giving your time to help others makes people feel good.
If companies were able to set up a day, or half day a few times a year where you and your employees can go and volunteer together, this would increase engagement. When teams go and volunteer for a cause that they are passionate about it bring a sense of pride, and a sense of accomplishment to all. Having a paid volunteer day is a great tool to use when recruiting the millennial generation and it is a great idea for teambuilding activities. What are some volunteer activities you and your teams do together?