Employee activism has been rising for some time now.
At this point, there is no excuse for companies to be caught unaware. Every organization should undertake steps to quell an embarrassing employee demonstration of opposition to a company policy, decision or action.
For years, companies have asked their employees to advocate on their behalf.
Workers accustomed to speaking out on the company’s behalf, though, are less likely to have qualms about taking issue with the organization than those who have never raised their voice at all.
A Weber Shandwick survey, “Employee Activism in the Age of Purpose: Employees Up(rising),” found nearly 40% of employees are activists, speaking up either in support of or opposition to the company, and another 11% are potential activists.
What’s more, while 84% of employees believe it’s appropriate for workers to speak up for their employers, 74% believe employees are right to speak up against them. According to the report, “The belief that employees have a right to speak up in support of their employers is consistent across generations.”
Millennials are among the most fervent believers that social change is business’s responsibility, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer. Increasingly, younger generations see themselves not as worker bees but as citizens of the company.
The focus of activism
When employees speak out about their company, the organization’s policies and actions are a likely target.
Companies have been slapping values statements on their walls and touting their employee engagement efforts for years. It should be no surprise that employees who have