In today’s work environment, it’s no longer enough to simply bring home a paycheck. In a survey of millennial and Gen-Z workers conducted by Deloitte, three-quarters of those interviewed said they believe that multinational corporations are in a position to solve the vasty array of economic, social and environmental challenges facing the world.
The importance of companies having strong values and a positive impact on society is further illustrated in MetLife’s “Role of the Company” survey, which reveals that the average employee would actually be willing “to take a 21 percent pay cut to work for a company with values aligned with theirs.”
It should come as no surprise, then, that many of the most successful entrepreneurs are those who have strived to make a difference — or even start a movement — with their work. The added sense of purpose motivates employees, attracts like-minded customers and gives you the drive you need to succeed.
Of course, movements aren’t born out of nothing. The good news is that no matter what industry you’re in, you can take these steps to make a difference.
1. Start giving back early on.
During the early days of your startup, you might find yourself crunched for cash. When you’re worried about making a profit, it can be hard to think of ways you can give back. But in reality, your movement-building efforts should still be at the forefront.
One example of this principle in action is the Pledge 1 Percent initiative, which encourages corporations to pledge 1 percent of their equity, time, product or profit to charitable causes. It’s a manageable amount to give that is based on what your startup can afford at the moment, and will help lay the foundation for future positive work.
2. Define your desired social impact.
To create a movement-oriented mindset in your workplace, you must start by clearly defining your desired social impact. Choose a cause that is meaningful to you and your team; one that will provide motivation and a clear vision to everyone involved in your startup. Starting with your desired impact in mind will help guide core decisions in the future.
In an interview with Business Collective, Analiese Brown of ShipCompliant notes, “Social good should become an outcome of what you’re trying to build, rather than an afterthought. What is the fundamental belief that drives your business? If you can get clear on why you do what you do at that very basic level, it becomes easier to see how you can achieve social good as an extension of your product and brand.”