People increasingly expect all aspects of their lives – from their careers to their purchasing decisions and the way they spend their spare time – to have a positive impact on the world. This is not a trend. It’s a profound societal shift in thinking. It is happening everywhere. We call this the Values Revolution.
Millennials lead the charge
According to our research, over two-thirds (68%) of people think that businesses, governments and non-profits all need to deliver more social and environmental change. Nearly three-quarters want to see more transparency and 81% more accountability.
The Values Revolution is particularly noticeable in millennials born between 1981-1996. A whopping 84% of millennials consider it their duty to make a positive difference through their lifestyle and 61% are concerned about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to improve it.
We found that half of millennials would choose purposeful work over a high salary. Two-thirds, a significant proportion of the next generation talent pool, want to work for a company that makes a difference to the world. The majority of millennials (60%) prefer to buy products or services from ethical companies while two-thirds volunteer for a cause they care about.
Organisations across all sectors have some work to do to impress their customers, donors and employees of today and tomorrow. Many organisations start at the end with communications and marketing, but our research clearly shows that organisations must authentically embrace values across all areas of their operations. In short, they must walk the talk. Only then will they see the benefits of increased affinity and loyalty amongst customers, employees, voters and donors.
Authentic Values Model
To help organisations embrace the Values Revolution to do well and do good, we have created the Authentic Values Model. This framework empowers organisations to find compelling and authentic values, then live these values across all areas of their operations before finally building on them to Engage employees, customers, donors and other key stakeholders.
To find their values, organisations must look at their past and their future. We recommend organisations begin by undertaking a ‘values review’ with their leadership team. The values review should take into account the organisation’s history, its primary objectives, its unique potential social impact and its aspirational legacy.
Organisations must then live their values by embedding them across all aspects of their operations, from creating high-level governance policies to managing efficiencies in resource use. Living your values requires the support and input of all aspects of the organisation from human resources to the finance department.
Then and only then, can organisations effectively engage others in order to amplify their values. We always recommend an ‘inside-out’ approach that begins with employee engagement, which empowers them to serve as ambassadors for the organisation. Once this is in place, outward communications and marketing becomes far more compelling and effective.
It’s no longer enough for organisations to state their impact – they have to prove it. Savvy organisations must embrace the Values Revolution authentically – by integrating values across their strategy, operations and communications in order to make a tangible difference and succeed in a values-driven world.