Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter earlier this year has shined a bright light on how quickly the sands can shift under employees’ feet.
“Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in the coming months. We will keep what works & change what doesn’t,” the SpaceX CEO tweeted of his mission for Twitter 2.0. Some of those changes have, so far, included mass layoffs, some of which are now resulting in lawsuits from workers who say they weren’t given proper notice of termination, or sufficient severance pay.
Musk has also reinstated former president Donald Trump to the platform, following a controversial public poll, and introduced a raft of changes which include an emailed edict to staff that, going forward, they would “need to be extremely hardcore.”
Last week, employees at Twitter’s San Francisco home base were greeted with conference rooms which had been converted into bedrooms. Featuring unmade mattresses, “drab” curtains and boardroom-style telepresence monitors, this seems to be Musk’s new vision for exactly how hardcore things will get.
With so many employees now either leaving of their own volition, or being handed notices to quit, Twitter’s former internal slogan of #lovewhereyouwork must be ringing hollow for those workers who remain.
For younger workers in particular, it really matters that the companies and institutions they work for are leading from the front when it comes to both vision and values. Fifty percent of employees report that the pandemic has shifted the expectations they have towards their employers, according to a 2021 Gartner study.
Gallup also asked more than 13,000 workers what was most important to them when deciding whether to accept a job offered by a new employer, and 42% of its respondents said that “the organization is diverse and inclusive of all types of people.”
Particularly, it’s Millennial and Gen Z workers who now expect the companies and institutions they work for to be authentic forces for good, upholding the same values and visions as they promote amongst their workforce.
This means companies need to be explicit about their values. They must communicate clear policies and guidelines around D&I (diversity and inclusion) or equality, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB), as well as ESG (environmental, social, and governance).
And companies really do need to step up: Millennials are expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, and Gen Z workers will be 30% of the workforce by 2030, meaning that if they are dissatisfied, they will find employment at a company that does align with their values.
A 2018 UK study from Huawei, in partnership with Goldsmiths University, backs this up. Based on responses from 2,000 Gen Zs across the UK, the data found that this cohort is more likely to be motivated by job satisfaction and working for social good than by money.
Companies doing good
While it is nice to be nice, the fact of the matter is that when a company leans into values, the bottom line benefits. According to a study from Workbuzz, D&I is a clear driver of organizational success.
Having a top team that is diverse is strongly correlated with profitability, and inclusive leaders can drive a 17% increase in team performance — as well as a 29% increase in team collaboration.
The study also found that organizations which focus on disability engagement are growing sales 2.9 times faster, and profit 4.1 times faster than their competitors. It’s really important for companies to keep top of mind that when it comes to D&I in particular, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and no “final state” to achieve — this work needs to be ongoing.
So, which companies should you be looking at if you want to make a move to a firm where values and vision matter?
The very first employee resource group at Google was the Gayglers (later renamed PRIDE at Google), and was created by LGBTQ+ Googlers. The company has continued to act, speaking out on behalf of same-sex marriage, and in 2011, it pioneered transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to cover transitioning procedures and treatment too. View current opportunities at Google here.
When it comes to ESG, Apple is making inroads. The company has an ambitious goal to become carbon neutral by 2030 and right now it says about 20% of the materials used in its products are made from recycled content. It’s also reduced its carbon footprint by 40% in 2021 compared to 2015. Browse all jobs at Apple now.
Professional services firm Accenture has been voted No. 1 for the third time in five years in the Refinitiv Diversity & Inclusion Index. It’s committed to a gender-balanced workforce by 2025 and its people with disabilities have access to the latest technology, resources, and training for a barrier-free workplace. The company also has policies for LGBTIQ+, under-represented communities and support for mental health and wellness. See all Accenture’s open roles here.
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