Understanding Millennials and how to engage them

Jordi Sintes Oktober 29, 2018

In our latest blog, we talked about the correlation between the implementation of CSR and employee engagement. In effect, improving the well-being of your workers will improve the success of your company, because they will be way more productive as soon as they feel connected with it. To feel this connection, they must have understood the « why » behind what they do, and therefore be able to find happiness and fulfillment in it. That way, they can also become an ambassador for your organization, bringing in even more positivity, increasing awareness and building trust around you and your business.


understanding millennials


The problem nowadays, as we’ve also seen in many articles, is that employees, mostly millennials, feel disengaged and disconnected to their work environment. This is due to multiple reasons. Some of them are linked to the lack of recognition, of personal growth, of relationship with colleagues or of company alignment. The last one is very important, if not the most important. It means that they don’t connect to the mission and values of the company, and therefore can’t really be aware of the reason that keeps them going to work. How can they find the motivation to give their best and put up good work if they don’t even know which purpose they are serving ? Well, they don’t know either. This explains the results of the studies conducted today on the subject. One found out that only 13% of employees feel engaged worldwide. Moreover, only 32% of employees would recommend their company to a friend. This one was conducted by Alaya on over a 100 firms from different sizes and areas of expertise.



Of course, they are ways to change that. Although there are some shocking facts about employee disengagement out there, we have to focus on finding the solutions, which comes from better understanding their needs. By doing so, we can offer a fitted response to resolve the problem and make all of the employees feel better to therefore perform better. To be fair, there is also a lot of positive statements on what would happen if they were engaged. For example, one study found that organizations with highly engaged employees achieve twice the annual net income of organizations without. Plus, highly engaged workers are 2 times more likely to be top performers. We could go on with more, but honestly, is there even a reason why anybody would want to deal with unhappy employees in the first place ? In case you think otherwise, here’s something that will probably convince you.


engaged employees

Today, we’ll put our focus on the needs and concerns of the millennials, as they are seen as a complex and heterogeneous group, but also because they are an important work force for the future.



Young people of generation Y are more encline to contribute to improve the society they live in by adapting their behavior, as they grew up with messages of sensibilisation. As such, 70% of them adapt their habits in order to address sustainable development problems. Despite this, many millennials today in Switzerland have a negative feeling towards economical and social progress. They want it, but are not quite sure how they will be able to contribute to make it happen. Facing this « threat », they are way more likely to chose to work for a company that is involved in doing good, because they feel like they could have a greater impact by doing so. They say they would be more encline to work for employers that engage with social issues. Millennials are the representatives of a new generation of consumers and according to a Nielsen study, they are distinguishing themselves with three levels :

  • The research of new economical solutions
  • A quest for fluidity with the digital technologies
  • An opening to a wide range of social relationship and a desire to realize themselves by contributing to society


millennials expectations

It confirms that this generation is looking for way more than just a paycheck. Another study shows that leading sustainable and responsible companies will attract more potential employees among the young people, that think the corporate social responsibility is more important than the financial aspect. They truly believe that business has the power to make a difference and they regard it as a force for positive social impact. 74% of millennials believe business has the potential to solve the challenges that concern them. But on the other side, only 59% believe they are really doing so. This shows the gap between their expectations and what they think the reality is, and why it is so important today to show them that corporations can be the change and are really getting involved with wider problems and issues than just economic ones. They’ll be more encline to join these kind of corporations with a good CSR, but more importantly, will be happier to serve a higher purpose, which will increase their motivation, their productivity, and the company’s success !



“Brands that establish a reputation for environmental stewardship among today’s youngest consumers have an opportunity to not only grow market share but build loyalty among the power-spending Millennials of tomorrow, too.” (says Grace Farraj, SVP, Public Development & Sustainability, Nielsen)

Since we are talking about the same age group, their expectations are quite similar. But if we analyze them as customers, we see that a company that gives back will be more attractive to them. As they are trying to be responsible with their buying, they expect the same from companies, and when it comes to purchasing, they are doing their researches, looking into corporations backgrounds, values, practices, production, social responsibility, and so on. To back this up, another study form Nielsen showed that 72% of millennials are willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies who are committed to positive social and environmental impact.

To conclude, it’s safe to say that wether you want to hire them or to sell to them, building a strong CSR program will ensure you a greater prosperity for your company !

If you want to learn more about millennials, how they feel about the corporate world and especially their thoughts on individual compromise, factors that make an organisation attractive, importance of shared values, advancement opportunities, and work schedule, check out this survey from PWC.


millennials consumers

Mitarbeiter einbeziehen und gleichzeitig Wirkung erzielen.

Demo anfordern