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Winning in the Green Economy

Winning in the Green Economy

Why employees want to work for green organizations –– and why these companies have an advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.  

They are most motivated by purpose and challenging work. They hope to make a difference and want their work to matter.  

We’re talking about boomers and workers over the age of 65.  

This may come as a surprise to some, but younger employees aren’t the only ones that highly value meaningful work. According to ManpowerGroup’s report, Closing the Skills Gap: Know What Workers Want, organizations need to provide challenging and purposeful work to all generations in order to attract and retain the best workforce amidst record high global talent shortages.  

The idea that for-profit businesses have a broader responsibility to society, not just shareholders, is called “stakeholder capitalism.” At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, ManpowerGroup North America President Becky Frankiewicz spoke about  Shareholders for a Sustainable World: Maximizing Purpose and Profit. She shared how businesses that take action against climate change and stand for sustainability will have an advantage for talent over businesses that are merely offering a paycheck.  

The demand for companies to be environmentally accountable has taken on more urgency with the next generation, which has seen the rise of climate activists like Greta Thunberg, who also spoke at Davos. According to new Pew Research data, concern for the environment now rivals the economy as a top concern for the first time, and an increasing number of people are worried about the effects of climate change.  

For businesses, this is an opportunity to share how they are a welcoming place for the workers of the future. Businesses that have green-friendly initiatives can reach an environmentally-aware workforce by clearly communicating their mission. This could include having a sustainability website that showcases the company’s measures, as well as clearly stating their mission in job postings and interviews with candidates. But be careful to also walk the talk – workers are looking for authenticity and will quickly speak up against hollow messages.  

To attract and retain the best employees, businesses should broaden their view of what their workers want. Salary and benefits will still be a priority, but pro-social initiatives like being green should also be elevated and valued. Doing well means doing good.