Today, more than ever, countries and the organizations that exist within them are grappling with widening generational gaps on a variety of topics including economic, technological, and social responsibility. These domains are of growing importance to a millennial workforce that is steadily increasing in influence. I have seen this dynamic unfold first hand, as a vocal millennial representative having lived and worked abroad. These concepts have no geographical bounds, as our perspectives and expectations continue to diverge from our generation X coworkers and mentors.
Schneider Electric, along with other leading multinationals, have seen the trends emerging and have begun implementing proactive approaches to create cultures of innovation, social responsibility, and employee development centering around the ideals possessed by future generations of leadership. Doing this has allowed Schneider to continue developing state of the art solutions aimed at giving citizens the deserved ability to live in a world that is efficient, resilient, and sustainable.
As globalization continues to shrink our world, we see many examples where differences in thought are emerging and groups are uniting behind causes that are of utmost importance to them, most notably and widely inherent in our Schneider culture: sustainability. Millennials are now basing career decisions on an organization’s level of sustainability, impact investing, and overall social responsibility as these factors seem to equate with greater permanence and longer term growth projections. This is done by viewing businesses subjectively based on an integrated model connecting both intangibility and sustainability with traditional tangible and financial resources. What stimulates millennials in particular are the former points which include an organization’s intellectual capital, sustainability framework, and corporate citizenship.
In order to exceed millennial expectations, Schneider Electric has continuously developed company programs and initiatives to enhance brand value and establish a culture of innovation. For example, Schneider and other companies provide employees with real-time feedback and recognition (financial and otherwise) as a piece of a global career progression framework. With an R&D spend of 4-5% of total yearly revenues, innovating towards sustainable development is the backbone of company growth. Prioritizing incubation of new businesses, internet of things, digital customer experience, and convergence of operational technology and IT are just some of the targets slated within the R&D strategic plan. Leveraging technology to solve real problems and make customers lives easier is always at the forefront.
Following the creation of the sustainable development department over 10 years ago, we tie together the core tenets of financial, social, and environmental factors through our Planet and Society Barometer, the company’s official sustainable development dashboard which contributed directly to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. I am proud to be part of our teams who gladly dedicate time to travel the world training those in emerging markets on energy management, green technologies, and devoting time to various community support and development programs. These are just small subsets of the much larger picture that drives our teams to continually inspire one another internally.
Looking under the hood it is easy to see how Schneider Electric has elevated to one of the greenest, most sustainable, and most admired companies in the world and ultimately become a beacon for millennials in search of meaningful societal value creation.