How to recruit and retain Millennial Workers

Hasbro’s triple-bottom line approach

By Kathrin Belliveau

At Hasbro, creativity and integrity are not only two of our key corporate values but also critical to executing our mission of “Creating the World’s Best Play Experiences.” Our Hasbro brand portfolio is the growth engine; the fuel that drives this engine is our people.

As Millennials increasingly represent a greater percentage of today’s workforce, we know that they fully expect companies to respond to pressing social and environmental issues. These 18-26-year-olds are not just demanding greater action—they are forging a transformational re-evaluation of what corporate social responsibility (CSR) means.

Employee, Consumer, Citizen
Millennials’ push towards deeper CSR does not come without a personal stake. They want to actively participate in the change they wish to see in the world, in partnership with business. This participation can begin with community engagement and volunteerism, two core aspects of CSR, yet it also goes further. Millennials are looking to the core of how businesses operate. They are not only drawn to those companies that are socially and environmentally responsible, they want to be engaged in fundamentally advancing the way those companies operate.

In other words, Millennials are triple-minded: they want to be viewed as employees, consumers, and citizens all at once.

MSLGROUP’s 2014 study, The Future of Business Citizenship, revealed that 58 percent of Millennials want business to make it easier for consumers to get involved in societal issues and 59 percent want more meaningful connections with others who share their vision for a better world. The 2014 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that for 70 percent of Millennials, their decision to work for a company is influenced by its commitment to the community.

Clearly, for more and more Millennials, it is crucial that their personal values, professional ambitions, and consumer decisions align. The paradigm around CSR is shifting to reflect this demand, and it is good for both business and the world.

Fostering CSR Heroes Embedding CSR into a company’s brand and operations creates a virtuous cycle, one that begins with attracting smart, young employees and results in purposeful, positive social and environmental impact.

However, remembering that recruiting top talent is only a small part of the equation is key. When business invites employees to bring their personal values to work, it creates an environment in which these employees are more engaged—both in shaping CSR initiatives and more broadly.

We’ve seen this cycle come to life at Hasbro, where our employees’ values further our corporate mission and purpose. As we work to fulfill our purpose of making the world a better place for children and families, creativity and imagination are central to our culture and our progress.

For example, employees on our Green Team are leading the charge to help Hasbro reduce waste and increase recycling rates across our facilities. In 2013, our Rhode Island team partnered with the local material recycling facility to introduce single-stream recycling at all of its Rhode Island facilities, making Hasbro the largest business to formally adopt Rhode Island’s new recycling program at the time. Their efforts have also included a robust multi-year recycling awareness and education program which has led to a year-over-year increase in our Rhode Island site recycling rate.

During Earth Month this year, the team at our Wizards of the Coast subsidiary in Washington created a “Paper Towel Challenge” to raise awareness around personal paper consumption. The paper challenge was such a creative hands-on success that it was picked up by other site teams, including our corporate headquarters.

If we look around our corporate headquarters, one of the meeting areas that is most frequented is our CSR Loft that we created a couple of years ago. This collaboration space complete with an eight-foot-long reclaimed wood table, infographics and videos of our successful CSR journey, and CSR awards on display sits in the center of our building, in a high-traffic area. It embodies what we stand for in CSR and is a tangible reminder for our people to our commitment to CSR. On any given day, it is the space that our teams choose to use for inspiration to sustainably solve our business needs.

Equipping Your Business for the Triple-Minded World
In order to meet the demands of the Millennial mindset—the future of our workforce and our world— business must take CSR to the next level and involve its people in the process. This means looking both inward and outward, at the company’s own operations and at its greater societal and environmental impact. It means focusing on micro issues as well as macro ones. It means being bold, collaborative, and communicative.

The future of CSR is holistic: companies must elevate cause, community, and environmental stewardship by both authentically embedding these principles into their operations and empowering employees to make them real every day.

Appealing to triple-minded Millennials requires a triple approach: being resilient, relevant, and resonant. Ultimately, business must be equipped to resolve social, economic, and environmental challenges; understand and meet Millennial expectations; and convey a meaningful vision associated with a set of core values. Together, we aim to create a better business and a better world.

(Kathrin Belliveau is senior vice president of Global Government Affairs & Corporate Social Responsibility at Hasbro, Inc.)
Posted August 13, 2015 in 25115