Filene Examines What Workers Want in 2012
The brief is published as part of a partnership between the Filene Research Institute and Net Impact, a group dedicated to solving problems through the workplace. Net Impact set out to investigate how people view "impact jobs," or jobs that provide the opportunity to make a social or environmental impact.
Its survey looked at a statistically significant national sample of 1,726 university students about to enter the work force and currently employed four-year college graduates from three generations: Millennials (between the ages of 21 and 32), Generation X (between 33 and 48), and Baby Boomers (between 49 and 65).
The study found:
- "Impact jobs" are satisfying. Slightly more than half of professionals (55%) said they are currently in a job where they can make a social or environmental impact on the world. These satisfaction levels were reinforced when digging into the ways people feel connected to impact through their jobs, too. For example, 45% of employees who say they worked directly on a product or service that makes a positive social impact report being very satisfied with their jobs.
- College students care. Responding to the statement, "Having a job where I can make an impact on causes or issues that are important to me," 72% of college students said it was either essential or very important. That's 13 percentage points more than Millennials and 23 more than Gen Xers.
- Impact expectations are high. A majority of students (65%) expect to make a positive social or environmental difference in the world at some point through their work. Credit unions that offer students direct ways to make a difference through their job will have a recruiting advantage, the report said.
- Women care more than men about impact jobs. Women are much more likely than men to say making a difference is important to them. As a result, organizations that invest in impact jobs likely will have more success in recruiting women. Sixty percent of employed women say that working for a company that prioritizes social and environmental responsibility is very important to them, compared with 38% of men.
"Not every credit union is positioned to take advantage of these trends," the report concluded. "For some, the idea of a credit union movement is a memory, not a motivation. And that's just fine. But credit unions that see their differentiator as doing good by members every day should take these findings to heart and use social responsibility to attract conscientious employees. They will then become conscientious leaders."