Generation Y Seeks Employers with Social Conscience
21 October 2013 at 10:19 am
Companies looking to attract the best Gen Y talent should consider promoting social programs that create shared values within their organisation, according to corporate leader Allan English.
English is a successful entrepreneur and businessman who is currently Chairman of Silver Chef, ranked as one of the top 50 Great Places to Work in Australia by BRW for the last four years, and Ambassador of Opportunity International Australia.
“Young people today want to do something bigger – they want to have a greater sense of purpose with their work rather than just a pay packet,” he said in a recent interview.
“They want to connect with an organisation that is about making a significant impact in this world. The appeal of leaving a mark and working towards a greater goal is why Gen Y is attracted to businesses that participate in the community or are involved with charitable initiatives,” English said.
English said the truth of this statement became clear after he formed a vision for the business known as the 2020 vision.
“By the year 2020, if Silver Chef achieves its goals, the company will have helped more than one million people out of poverty, working with Opportunity International Australia – a microfinance organisation that gives families living in poverty a hand up by providing small loans, enabling them to start small businesses and work their way out of poverty.
“By being involved with Opportunity, I knew I could inspire and motivate my staff, creating a higher purpose for us all to work towards. Interestingly, once we had agreed on our vision, Silver Chef really started gaining momentum.
“We had always had a way of identifying top talent, but once we transferred our shared values from a management level down to every layer of the business, we found that we began hiring nine out of ten of the best Gen Y talent coming to us, and to date, Silver Chef has already helped to transform the lives of 358,313 families living in poverty,” English said.
He went on to say that the success and growth of Silver Chef over the last eight years is largely due to the skills and passion of Gen Y employees who are inspired by the 2020 vision.
English pointed to the fact that Silver Chef has been named in BRW Best Places to Work in 2013 and the Aon Hewitt Best Employers list in 2013, saying that their vision was part of the reason for these accolades.
Supporting English’s views, Opportunity International Australia recently appointed its youngest Board Member – twenty-four year-old Viv Benjamin, who was recently announced as a finalist for the Australian Financial Review’s Women of Influence awards.
“Benjamin is an example of top Gen Y talent that is committed to social causes and she was attracted to Opportunity because of the work it does giving families a hand up.
“It is an incredible organisation that empowers people living in poverty to transform their lives. Opportunity’s model is smart and sustainable – just the sort of lasting solution we need when tackling global poverty.”
English said while a number of companies run successful workplace programs, the key is to make sure that these initiatives are not just a ‘tick of the box’ but actually contribute back to the community, and it is important to let prospective and current employees know about this.