Influence: Giving and Leading Across Generations

By July 1, 2015Generations

leading across generationsLast week, the research group Achieve, sponsored by the Case Foundation, released the 2015 Millennial Impact Report. This report is one in a series and always delivers essential insights about the emerging generosity of Millennials, the largest generation.

Millennials, Statistics, and Giving

Within the 2015 Millennial Impact Report, there are many statistics and information to explore. As I read through the report, highlighted below are some statistics to think about as it relates to Millennials, giving, and influence.

Giving time and money

  • 84% of Millennial employees made a charitable donation in 2014
  • 70% of Millennial employees spent at least an hour volunteering in 2014.
  • 37% volunteered up to 10 hours and 31% volunteered more than 11 hours

Giving and influence

  • 45% of those who volunteered said some of their time was promoted or made available by their company
  • 27% of Millennial employees are more likely to donate to a cause if their supervisor does
  • 40% of employees are likely to donate to a cause if their co-worker asks them
  • 77% of Millennial employees prefer to volunteer with groups of fellow employees

Millennial giving: Mindset and Skills

  • 79% of Millennial employees who do not participate in company-wide giving campaigns still donate outside of work
  • 77% of Millennial employees are more likely to volunteer if they can use specific skills or expertise to benefit a cause

Influence and Leading: Generosity and Generations

There are some elements of this report that are encouraging and set the stage on how to gain greater meaning in the work we do.

The encouraging element is the fact Millennials are giving their time, money, and talent at rates comparable to older generations. In other words, Millennials are not waiting until later stages of their lives to give. A giving mindset is a wonderful way to begin work and community life.

The stage is set in how organizations can influence each other to achieve a greater good. Peers influence each other in giving money and contributing time. Managers and supervisors set an example that others will join in, especially when it comes to social good initiatives. When social good initiatives are encouraged by businesses, a certain passion is exposed and people feel good about their work, their company, and the impact they have.

Here are points to consider and engage:

  • Millennials have a high desire to give their time and talent to the organization in which they work while also giving their time, money, and talent to improving the community in which they live and work.
  • Older generations are setting an example and need to increase this role within their business. To bridge gaps between generations, sharing in social good initiatives will create better bonds in the workplace too. To prevent a leadership gap between generations, working together on a common cause enables all to use their skills and talents fully.
  • Social good initiatives can be the glue to bring generations together while making big impacts in the communities in which the businesses reside.

Use Your Influence to Make a Difference

Here is the leader challenge. The challenge is to:

  • Do! Volunteer your time and talents in some social good organization that resonates with you. Be the first person. Do not wait for someone else to lead the way. Lead the way! Time is too limited to wait for the right time to volunteer. Use your talents now to help your community be a little better than before you were involved.
  • Speak! Tell others what you are doing for social good. Share your experience. Do not brag. Tell the story of the social good organization and what you have learned. Talk about how you have increased your empathetic skills and taken your talents to a new level of understanding and expertise.
  • Ask! Encourage others to join you or to find a social good organization that resonates with them. Do not “guilt” people into joining you but ask in a way that sparks something within themselves to give in good, meaningful ways.

Whether you are a Millennial, Boomer, Gen Xer, or any other generation, grab the attention of someone next to you and lead by example in giving forward.

Leaders require a good soul. Giving keeps our soul alive by doing good things in good ways. Good soul produces good leaders much more often than not.

The challenge of leaders of any generation is to influence others by giving.

How do you influence others by what you give? How have what others have given helped you be a better leader? Do! Speak! Ask!

Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz is one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business and highlighted as one of the Leaders to Watch in 2015 by the American Management Association. He also is the author of Activate Leadership: Aspen Truths to Empower Millennial Leaders. Jon serves as vice president of marketing at Corepoint Health. Outside of his professional life, Jon brings together a community to inspire Millennial leaders and close the gap between two generations of leaders.
Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz

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