There was a time, not so long ago, when the perks of a new office job were mostly fun or financial — catered lunches and happy hours, free snacks and 401K matches. But, as work-life balance has become more of a priority and competition for new talent keeps getting tighter, employers are realizing that the newest generation of employees is looking for more than perks — they want purpose.
The opportunity to do good — with their employer’s support and even on company time — has become a benefit on par with flexible work schedules or a generous vacation policy, and may do as much to keep them happy in their roles.
Michelle Hernandez, a millennial and a talent management specialist at NBCUniversal who has been with the company for five years, says a highlight of her job has been mentoring high schoolers on possible career paths and packing care kits to send to children in the hospital.
“Working for a company that participates in the communities we serve as a business is very important,” Hernandez says. “Getting to meet new colleagues along the way and learn from all of those who participate in these programs has certainly played a role in defining my time here.”
Meanwhile, two years into her tenure as a digital content producer at HP, Gen Zer Bianca Tamura and her team spent a day away from their PCs and out in their community. Together, they packaged meals that would be delivered to people in need across New York City.
“It was really rewarding and a great experience to give your time to having a positive impact and helping others,” Tamura says.
Experiences like these are so rewarding that Tamura says they’re part of what’s keeping her at HP at a time when many employees around her age are leaving their jobs in droves.
“My choice to stay here is [partly] a moral choice,” says Tamura. “It’s not only the volunteering that’s important, but it’s also HP’s goals for sustainability, justice, and diversity.”