A new report from Cognizant’s Center for The Future of Work reveals a growing gap between what employers are doing and what young professionals really want in the workplace.
Purpose in the workplace is twofold, as far as the report is concerned. Both aspects of the professional purpose have to do with “values that drive people’s choices, actions and attitudes,” the report states. Purpose is further divided between wider social and environmental beliefs and professional/personal objectives.
This is where the disconnect occurs: “Yes, the majority (65%) say it’s extremely or very important for their employer to positively impact society in a way that reflects their own values; however, they also want a workplace that fuels their own personal sense of purpose,” the report states.
Purpose may be different for each person, but the report showed three important attributes that millennials aged 27-40 and Generation Z aged 20-26 associate with purposeful work: Being passionate about what they do, having a good work/life balance and getting paid well.
Unfortunately, only 18% of respondents said that they “strongly believe they are living their day-to-day purpose in their work life.” 24% said that their employer was “very genuine” about their position, and 46% said that it was only a half-hearted attempt that did not feel very genuine.
The study recommended that companies be more deliberate in convincing employees about their commitment to creating a positive impact in the workplace, local communities and the world in general together with shareholders.
Furthermore, the report identifies three crucial areas where companies need to improve in order to close the purpose gap that could jeopardize their future: improving internal communication, helping young workers fulfill personal purposes, and modernizing their leadership.