How to Manage Employees Who Value Citizenship

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Chances are at least one of your employees is driven by citizenship. What does that mean? Employees who value citizenship are socially responsible and place a high priority on ethics and sustainability. These priorities drive their decision-making and impact their behaviors in and outside of the office.

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It might seem intimidating to have an employee with such high standards for social responsibility and sustainability, but creating successful teams begins with embracing and understanding each team member's unique priorities. Employees who value citizenship have a lot to bring to the table, and they already make up a huge portion of today's workforce. You almost certainly have some of these employees on your team already, even if you're not aware of it.

Most Employees Today Value Citizenship

Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, and contrary to popular belief, they are not self-absorbed selfie addicts. Millennials care deeply about the world. Just look at these figures from Project ROI:

- 80 percent of millennials want to work for a company that cares about its impact on society and the environment.

- 55 percent of Millennials say a company's "cause work" influences their decision to accept an offer.

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- Three in four millennials seek out employers that support social causes.

It's not just the millennials who value social responsibility, though. Generation X, composed of those born between 1965 and 1980, was the first generation to push for corporate social responsibility. Furthermore, 93 percent of Generation Z, composed of those born between 1995 and 2012, say a company's impact on society affects their decision to work there.

Maybe you didn't realize the importance of social responsibility to your current employees. Now you do, and trust me when I say you want citizenship-focused employees under your roof and on your team.

Employees Want to Engage Directly in Citizenship

According to a survey from Net Impact, 53 percent of workers (and 72 percent of students about to enter the workforce) feel a job where they can make an impact is important to their happiness. These citizenship-driven employees want volunteer opportunities at work, and they want to volunteer alongside their coworkers.

The good news is that creating successful teams with these employees comes easy. Employees who engage in corporate philanthropy with their teams and leaders have better relationships with their colleagues.

Here are a few other benefits of promoting volunteer work among your employees, according to a survey from UnitedHealth Group:

- 94 percent of respondents to said volunteering improves their overall mood.

- 96 percent of respondents said volunteering enriches their life.

- 78 percent of respondents said volunteering helps lower their stress levels.

- 76 percent of respondents said volunteering makes them feel healthier.

Organize a company-wide day of service. If possible, take the time to inform employees about how the choices the company makes are always made with social responsibility in mind. You'll get more than just engaged citizenship-focused employees – you'll get a whole workforce of happy, healthy, and fulfilled employees.

What if your company doesn't offer volunteer opportunities? It should, but if not, there are other ways to motivate your citizenship-valuing employees.

How to Manage Employees Who Value Citizenship

Your company should be making decisions that are mindful of social and environmental impact. Are you going paperless, using solar power, or giving back to the neighborhood in which your office sits? If so, these are things employees want to hear about – so tell them! You can motivate a citizenship-focused employee by discussing with them how the company makes socially and environmentally responsible decisions.

A word of caution: One surefire way to demotivate this kind of employee is by emphasizing that work outcomes are socially responsible. Remember, employees who value citizenship also place high importance on ethical behavior. They want to know social responsibility is a company priority, one that comes first and is part of the culture they belong to.

Having employees who value citizenship on the team will provide managers with a unique opportunity to get intimate with the company's social responsibility efforts. This type of employee has a lot of passion to bring to the table and a deep concern for ethical behavior, which will rub off on other team members. Embrace their unique priorities and beliefs to create a stronger, more successful team.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Vitru blog.

Ryan Mead is the CEO and founder of Vitru.