Depending on your age, you may have post-traumatic flashbacks of trust building activities at your first job in which you had to clap the company clap, cheer the company cheer, and sing the company song—all in a feeble attempt to manufacture team spirit and build trust among your fellows. What a nightmare!
Such anachronistic rituals may still persist in some dyed-in-the-wool traditional settings, but in the new millennium, the new Millennials in the new American workforce are having none of it! Unlike their predecessors [that would be you, and me] they crave authenticity in every aspect of their lives–even at work.
Why should you care? Well, currently these 18 to 34-year-olds make up a third of our labor force. And as for the future, well, how’s this for 2020 vision: one-half of the American workforce will be Millennials by the year 2020. Talk about a wake-up call!
And in terms of economic clout, Millennials have almost 2.5 trillion dollars in buying power and 60 percent of that cash will probably be spent on companies that not only sell them their favorite digital toys; but also share their core values, and support the social causes dearest to their hearts.
Paradoxically, as much as they seem to isolate and insulate themselves with an assortment of electronic gewgaws, Millennials are rabidly social. The irony is that all of their wireless technology seems to have hardwired them for sociability. So exactly how does this translate to your company’s bottom line?
Simple: Millennials want their lives to matter outside their office cubicles. They want to change the world one corporate social responsibility project at a time. If you want to recruit and keep the brightest and best of this generation, create trust building activities that actually build trust authentically. That’s your in and their buy-in to your company vision.
But the keyword with these clever young people is authenticity. Trust-building activities can be tricky. Any company can fake corporate social responsibility by throwing a few dollars at an outstretched hand. But you cannot fake the sincerity and earnestness of corporate social responsibility in the setting of a charitable team building workshop.
Charitable events optimize relationship building. When people band together–to assemble a bike for a little boy; a wagon for a little girl; or a wheelchair for a disabled neighbor–trust and friendship inevitably grow.
Translation: kindness and care are cash cows. If you want to make your shareholders happy, embrace the core values of your Millennial stakeholders through trust building activities that add real value to the quality of life in your community.