Are Value-Driven Careers the Key to Sustainable Business Growth?

Are Value-Driven Careers the Key to Sustainable Business Growth?

Are Value-Driven Careers the Key to Sustainable Business Growth?

May 2024, by Ben Davis

Why Value-Driven Careers Matter

Young professionals today are increasingly seeking careers that resonate with their core personal values. This shift towards value-driven career choices reflects a desire for work that fosters personal fulfilment and aligns with a deeper sense of purpose. This is an article which will take you through a presentation I gave at the MRS Conference in March, exploring the trend of value-driven career choices and the implications this has for employees, businesses, growth and positive change.

The Rise of Value-Driven Careers

Gone are the days of rigidly predefined career paths. Today’s young professionals are prioritising values such as sustainability, social impact, and work-life balance when making career decisions. A recent European Investment Bank survey found that 75% of under-30s in the UK consider a potential employer’s climate impact a significant factor during job hunting, and 1 in 5 say it is their top priority. This highlights the growing importance for businesses to demonstrate a commitment to ethical and sustainable practices when attracting and retaining future talent.

This focus on values goes beyond simply finding a job that pays the bills. Individuals are seeking work that aligns with their personal beliefs and allows them to contribute to a cause they believe in, which can lead to increased motivation, engagement, and overall job satisfaction for employees.  Businesses benefit through improved productivity, employee retention and growth. An increasing number of businesses lead by example by signing up to movements and certifications such as B Corp and commit to using their business as a force for good.

Understanding B Corps

The B Corp movement redefines business success by prioritising social and environmental impact alongside profit. Spearheaded in the UK by the nonprofit B Lab, it certifies companies that meet rigorous standards of performance, accountability, and transparency, ensuring they operate for the benefit of all stakeholders, not just shareholders.

By fostering a community of purpose-driven businesses that collaborate and share best practices, the movement aims to create a more sustainable and inclusive economy, demonstrating that businesses can be a force for good in the world. And with over 8,000 B Corps globally, the movement already has momentum, and it reflects the growing demand for businesses that operate with a higher purpose, beyond profit, instead committing to social responsibility and environmental sustainability as a business. Now more than ever, people like me are looking to support these brands, whether that be as a customer or a job seeker and value driven career choices are becoming more common. Therefore, it is those businesses that are clearly communicating their positive impact and sustainability strategies that are growing faster, recruiting easier and appealing more to today’s consumer, as we discovered in our recent Say-Do Sustainability Study.

Employee Ownership: Fostering Retention and Engagement

Attracting young talent with shared values through something like B Corp is crucial but retaining them requires an ongoing commitment. MM-Eye’s employee ownership structure has given us a sense of belonging and purpose here at MM-Eye. The Partner Council empowers younger employees to contribute fresh perspectives and participate in decision-making and the rewarding working environment has given us a sense of ownership that reflects in our work. This not only fosters growth and innovation but also creates clear career paths and a sense responsibility that ultimately improves employee retention.

A Mutually Beneficial Approach

By prioritising values and embracing movements like B Corp and employee ownership, companies can create a win-win scenario for both them and their employees. Employees who find purpose in their work are more engaged and productive. Businesses that prioritise ethical practices and social responsibility are better positioned to attract and retain top talent.  Ultimately, this value-driven approach can fuel positive social and environmental change while ensuring the long-term success of a business.

At MM-Eye, alongside customer research, we also specialise in conducting stakeholder and employee research that helps businesses understand and foster a positive culture.  As a certified B Corp, we are uniquely positioned to assist other companies working towards B Corp certification and we have developed a range of research-based tools to help other aspiring B corps, including our Materiality Assessment and B Corp data gathering surveys. Through insights on materiality, brand health and by feedback from customers, suppliers, employees, and wider stakeholders, MM-Eye can help you prioritise and amplify your positive impact and business growth.  If you think we can help you out, or you want to get in touch for a chat, please book a consultation using the form below.