Weakening Economy Prompts Volunteering; Pro Bono Takes on New Significance
No one was really surprised by the May jobs report, especially if they WERE NOT in the first tier of a six figure income. Many, if they are not out of work themselves and have stopped looking, have two or three friends out of work. So of course, the markets have been tweaked downward a bit and the economy which has been on most peoples' minds and hearts in the upcoming election is becoming a boondoggle.
How should one help oneself get kick started? It seems business has retrenched. Should that be the MO? Perhaps not. Retrenchment permeates with a smell of fear and what is need is hopefulness and magnanimity. Nothing speaks to this fearlessness better than charitable efforts and pro bono volunteering. Businesses should optimize their most important asset of all, their employees. The effort it takes to recruit and train new employees in addition to the costs should be minimized in downturns. Businesses don't want to have to spend extra time and money to train and shepherd in new recruits which can take a year or more before things begin to run smoothly. Best to keep the workforce, but tweak it with encouragement.
There are 79 million Millennials as opposed to 76 baby boomers who are flooding the job markets. These of the younger generation are shifting the paradigm of the fat cat "Me" generation (80s and 90s) which touted the concept of "get yours and shaft everyone else in the process." Yuppies have been out touch for a long while and corporate leaders are beginning to take note of Millennials' perceptions.
Net Impact’s recent study, Talent Report: What Workers Want in 2012, found that 65 percent of students entering the workforce expect to make a social and environmental impact through their work. Additionally, 45 percent indicated they would be wiling to take a pay cut to do so. Students surveyed claimed that impacting the culture was more important than having children, a prestigious career, being wealthy, or being a community leader. Consumers have joined the fray against corporate excess, environmental irresponsibility, excessive lobbying efforts and corporate unresponsiveness. Increasingly, consumers have demonstrated that they will buy products from companies that are concerned about the impact they have on surrounding communities and are willing to discover solutions to difficult societal problems. Employees are also consumers.Continued on the next page