Advisory Board Co. chief executive Robert W. Musslewhite issued a lofty philanthropic challenge to his staff at the beginning of 2013: He wanted 100 percent of them to participate in community service, and he wanted their efforts to result in a $1 million benefit to nonprofit groups.
As the Advisory Board closes in on meeting that goal, with about 98 percent of staffers volunteering so far this year, the research and consulting firm says it has received a reward beyond the feel-good vibe of giving back. The company found that its sharpened focus on pro bono work has become an effective tool for attracting and retaining millennial-age workers and for training them to do more advanced work.
“Millennials, more than any other generation, want to make a difference, feel like they have something to do, and want really substantive opportunity,” said Graham McLaughlin, senior director of community impact. “And if they are given that, they will engage hard.”