Giving Compass’ Take:
• There is an increasing trend in employee activism among corporations, as statistics reveal that more millennials are choosing to work at companies with corporate sustainability programs.
• Are you satisfied with your employer’s corporate sustainability program? Does your employer encourage employee activism?
In September, more than 1,700 Amazon employees pledged to walk out of work for the Global Climate March. They joined workers and students in the streets of cities around the world to demand climate actions from governments and companies.
It was one of the larger demonstrations of the growing power of employees to persuade their employers, policymakers and others to move further, faster on social and environmental issues. It’s still early days, and the activism is largely limited to tech companies so far, but the actions to date may be an indicator of what’s to come.
Employee activism is not new — trade unions have long advocated for workers’ rights — but the current rise in activist employees mirrors a trend that has been growing for years, and which seems to be hitting a peak as millennials increase their presence in the workplace. With growing distrust of governmental institutions, these younger employees are using their voices to advocate for change and demand that their employers do so, too.
A succession of surveys has shown conclusively that employees want to work for companies they perceive to be good, just and “on the right side of history” on issues ranging from gun control to climate change.
Consider a 2019 survey by Swytch, a blockchain-based clean energy platform, which examined workforce sentiments about employers’ corporate sustainability pursuits. Four in 10 millennials said they have chosen a job because the company performed better on sustainability than other choices — something only 17 percent of baby boomers said they had done. As for employee retention, 70 percent of millennials said they would stay with a company long-term if it had a strong sustainability plan.
It’s not just the rank and file. CEO activism also has been on the rise. For example, in May, CEOs from about a dozen companies and a handful of nonprofits banded together to form the CEO Climate Dialogue, to urge the U.S. Congress to develop comprehensive climate legislation.
Read the full article about employee activism by Deonna Anderson at GreenBiz.
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