Retain and Recruit Millennials With a CSR Program That Makes a Difference

The millennial generation has made it very clear how important it is to them to work for a company that values corporate social responsibility, or CSR programs. In fact, a whopping 69 percent of millennials say they wouldn’t work for a company that is not socially responsible. And, with millennials expected to make up 50 percent of the workforce by 2020, the demands of this growing demographic cannot be overlooked.

So, what’s a company to do if they want to recruit and retain today’s new generation of workers? Take some advice from a business that’s employee base is dominated by millennials.

At TCC, an overwhelming 85 percent of our employees—which are spread across 38 states—are millennials.

Knowing that the majority of TCC employees are millennials, we decided to focus our efforts on the types of charities and volunteer efforts this demographic is most interested in supporting. Research from Boston Consulting Group found that this generation of workers are huge proponents of “buying local” and want to shop at, work for and engage with companies that share their value for social responsibility.

With this in mind, we decided that supporting the local communities—instead of national programs—in which our employees live and work would increase employee engagement across the board. By inspiring employees to work hard to do the most good in their communities, it provides a better sense of job fulfillment that millennials crave.

Through our Culture of Good movement, we have donated 260,000 backpacks full of school supplies, given 7,000 teacher packs with classroom supplies, provided canned goods to local food banks, and partnered with community organizations focused on improving the environment. In addition, employees are encouraged to take paid time off to volunteer in their local communities. And, each TCC store is given $125 each quarter to donate to a local organization of their choice.

After a recent $1M donation from TCC to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, we wanted to give each TCC store across the country a chance to involve their local communities in supporting the hospital. Now, more than 350 nationwide TCC stores are selling screen cleaning cloths featuring artwork created by five different Riley Hospital patients. The screen cloths are on sale at each store with 100 percent of the sales going back to Riley Hospital.

It’s also important to measure the impact of your CSR programs on employees to regularly assess their reactions and feelings. Based on your findings, you can adjust your programs appropriately.

When I surveyed 966 TCC employees about the impact of the Culture of Good initiatives, I found a positive correlation between CSR efforts and employee fulfillment, among many other advantages it offers the company:

  • 92 percent said that the Culture of Good gives them a sense of fulfillment in their work.
  • 91 percent said the Culture of Good makes them feel that Round Room (TCC’s parent company) shares their value for social responsibility.
  • 84 percent said the Culture of Good contributes to staying employed by TCC.
  • 67 percent said that their store has gained new customers as a result of Culture of Good efforts.
  • 82 percent said the Culture of Good has helped build better communication skills between employees and helped form stronger team bonds in the workplace.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My last piece of advice is to do good for the value of investment, not the return on investment. By keeping this belief at the core of TCC’s CSR program, it has transcended into a real movement that has made a huge impact on employees, customers and communities nationwide.

Ryan McCarty, director of community and employee engagement at TCC. Founded in 1991 and based in Carmel, Indiana, TCC is the largest Verizon Premium Wireless Retailer in the U.S., operating more than 700 locations in 38 states from coast to coast. The company is guided by its Virtuous Circle of Success—a belief that employees, customers and communities matter equally. TCC’s nationally-recognized Culture of Good movement encourages employees to give back in every community it serves.

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