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Millennial Mindset: Deloitte Survey Finds Workers Who Frequently Volunteer Are Happier With Career Progression

Survey offers insights into volunteerism, its links to employee engagement and perceptions of positive organizational culture

NEW YORK, June 3, 2011 — A new Deloitte survey reveals that millennials who frequently participate in workplace volunteer activities are far more likely to be proud, loyal and satisfied employees compared to those who rarely or never volunteer.

The eighth annual Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey reveals that, compared to those who rarely or never volunteer, millennials who frequently participate in their company’s employee volunteer activities are:

  • Twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive (56 percent vs. 28 percent);
  • More likely to be very proud to work for their company (55 percent versus 36 percent);
  • More likely to feel very loyal toward their company (52 percent vs. 33 percent);
  • Nearly twice as likely to be very satisfied with the progression of their career (37 percent vs. 21 percent);
  • More likely to be very satisfied with their employer (51 percent vs. 32 percent); and,
  • More likely to recommend their company to a friend (57 percent vs. 46 percent)

“Our own experience has demonstrated the positive outcomes of a strategic corporate volunteer program,” said Evan Hochberg, national leader of Deloitte’s community involvement initiative. “It’s very exciting to have research that more broadly quantifies the connection between workplace volunteerism and several drivers of positive organizational culture among millennials.”

Further, more than one-third (37 percent) of those who frequently volunteer are more likely to be very satisfied with the progression of their career. These and other findings from the Deloitte 2011 Volunteer IMPACT Survey suggest a link between volunteerism and the quality of employee engagement as well as favorable employee perceptions of organizational culture.

At a time when one-third of millennial employees are considering other career options, these findings may offer new insights about a powerful way to engage workers among this age group. “The data shows that, on many levels, employees who regularly volunteer are much more connected than those who do not volunteer,” said Joseph Echevarria, chief executive officer, Deloitte LLP. “This is a strong argument for making volunteerism a business priority, because employee engagement and organizational culture are inextricably linked to organizational performance. What’s more, engagement and a sense of ownership are essential to leadership, and we recognize the need to cultivate leadership qualities in all our people, and celebrate responsible leadership.

“Leadership responsibilities are essential to what we do here at Deloitte. We are committed to leading the profession, and setting the standard of audit excellence. We are committed to leading in the marketplace, delivering the insights clients need to address their most critical and complex business challenges. We know that people, clients and markets will trust and respect our Deloitte brand to the extent we earn their trust and prove our leadership, in all that we do, including volunteerism.”

Widespread Impact on Image and Reputation Underscores Business Value

Deloitte survey findings also suggest that the benefits of creating a culture of service extend well beyond active volunteers. As expected, millennials strongly favor (70 percent) companies committed to the community. However, even among those millennials surveyed who rarely or never volunteer, more than half (61 percent) say they are likely to factor a company’s commitment to the community into their decision if choosing between two jobs with the same location, responsibilities and pay and benefits.

Millennials Seek Social and Career Benefits from Volunteerism

Millennials, who are often characterized by their passion to change the world, are also motivated to volunteer by more than altruism; half (51 percent) of all millennials surveyed want to benefit professionally from their volunteerism. Skilled volunteers, who use their business acumen to help nonprofit organizations, are more likely to seek a professional return on investment for their volunteer efforts than “hands-on” volunteers:

  • Skilled volunteers are more likely than traditional volunteers to say it is important that their volunteer efforts benefit them professionally (72 percent versus 56 percent).
  • Skilled volunteers are also more likely than traditional volunteers to be motivated by career advancement (47 percent vs. 34 percent).
About Deloitte Community Involvement

Deloitte helps people and communities thrive in three ways:

  • Leveraging innovative thinking to strengthen nonprofit capacity by helping with strategic, operational and financial challenges, so nonprofits can help more people and communities faster and better.
  • Complementing innovative thinking with an investment of financial resources at the national and regional level.
  • Creating and sharing new research, content and insights on ways organizations can leverage skills-based volunteerism.
About this Survey

The Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Research Series is a key component of Deloitte’s commitment to advancing the dialogue about corporate skills-based volunteerism. The 2011 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey is the eighth in the series. For a complete archive of the Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Research Series, visit www.deloitte.com/us.

2011 Volunteer IMPACT Survey Methodology

Results of the 2011 Volunteer IMPACT Survey are based on online interviews with 1,500 millennials (ages 21-35) who work at organizations with 1,000 or more employees that offer employee volunteer activities or programs. Note: the term “volunteerism” refers to traditional volunteerism, skilled volunteerism, pro bono work and/or nonprofit board service. Interviews were conducted by ORC International between Feb. 22 - 24, 2011. The sample size of 1,500 at a 95 percent confidence level would equate to +/- 2.6 percent margin of error had this been a random sample.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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