How a corporate mission can drive young workers away

Source: BBC News

By Sydney Finkelstein

A former student of mine called the other day. She’d worked at a major global company in the food industry, with primary responsibility for sourcing a key ingredient needed for a particular product.

Concerned about the environmental damage that came from traditional methods of cultivating the ingredient, and in light of this company’s professed mission of protecting the environment, she decided she would take the initiative and find an alternative source that was grown more sustainably.

But things didn’t go as planned. It turns out that the alternative ingredient was 25% more expensive than the traditional one, and her boss’s boss was not pleased. Despite countless company communications initiatives about sustainability and the environment, when push came to shove at this business, reality surfaced and it was not pretty.

She was so disillusioned that she started looking elsewhere for an opportunity more in line with her values, and it wasn’t long before she had moved on. The episode marked the beginning of the end for her work at the company.

Transparency between what you say and what you do has never been more important

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