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Building a better workplace to attract Conscious Consumer talent

An age-old question of any marketer, advertiser or individual with strong business acumen (often preceding a quantifiable investment)…“What is the ROI?”

Generally, it is rather simple to ascertain whether an investment had a positive or negative outcome by taking the benefit divided by the total investment. However, how do you evaluate ROI for intangible factors such as your employees’ health, happiness and motivation – all of which directly impact the success, profitability and desirability of your company?

While tangible benefits like salary, vacation and healthcare coverage remain important, today’s Conscious Consumer workers are also focused on intangible benefits – such as well-being and shared beliefs – which support and align with their conscious views and values. With values-based decision-making transcending the personal world to the professional, consumers are asking a new set of questions to determine whether an employer is desirable and a good fit:

Will I have purpose? Is my company making a difference in the world?

Conscious Consumers wish to derive greater meaning from their employment, coupled with a strong desire to partake in work that positively impacts the world.

Beyond this, value placed on a company’s reputation for ethical practices and community involvement can eclipse a reputation for hiring the best talent or marquee value of the company name. At the root of these considerations, Conscious Consumers seek an employer whose core values and beliefs mirror those of their own – with 86% of Millennials reporting they would consider leaving an employer if they found their CSR to be lacking.


Will I be supported and motivated to help ensure or enhance my health and well-being?

Another premier consideration in any Conscious Consumer decision is the impact it may have on their health or well-being. With the average reported workweek increasing from 40 to 47 hours, employees are not only working longer hours, but are subject to the perception of constant connectivity as the new norm – and expected to be available during non-traditional work hours. As a result, more than half of workers (53%) have reported feeling overworked and burned out. This shift has led to an incredible focus on and appreciation of a solid work-life balance – with 67% of workers reporting flexibility to work different hours trumping higher pay and 76% of workers reporting placing higher priority on family and personal life than their job.


In combination with a respect for the division between work and life, Conscious Consumers also want their employers to value their health and well-being as much as they do. Holding court at the top of conscious wish lists are wellness programs, with 62% of workers reporting the availability of a wellness program as a strong selling point in looking for a new job.

Other considerations include availability of fresh foods, onsite gyms and other incentives to help coach or motivate them to improve their health, fitness or well-being.

Through relatively small investments to support the happiness of your employees (or prospective employees) – demonstrating you are sensitive to and supportive of their values and proactively invested in their health and wellness – the dividends experienced will be immense. Beyond developing loyalty with the Conscious Consumer set (and effectively avoiding boomerang employees), increased relevance and alignment with Conscious Consumer values will aid in gaining traction and momentum across recruitment, retention and engagement goals.

Now the question for marketers is: With constant competition for top tier talent and perpetual evolution of workplace environments and norms, how are you positioning and reinforcing the positive benefits and traits of your company as an employer-of-choice?

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“CCF helped us get the uninsured rate in Minnesota to its lowest in state history. That’s a positive change in my book.”

– Allison O’Toole, CEO of MNsure


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