2016 Civic Engagement and Leadership Poll Results

November 2, 2016
Alejandro J. Medina
2016 Civic Engagement and Leadership Poll Results

Millennials Understand the Importance of Civic Engagement
Young professionals are engaged and eager to take on leadership roles within the community according to a recent survey conducted by tHRive, the young professionals program of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. tHRive’s membership consist of over 1,400 young professionals who call Hampton Roads home and are invested in contributing to the place where they live and work every day. tHRive’s most recent poll was distributed via email and social media and focused on the membership’s interest in civic engagement and community leadership.

When polled, more than 90% of respondents indicated they have participated in volunteerism or community service in 2016. In addition to their desire to give back to the region, local Millennials also care about having a voice when it comes to politics. Of those surveyed, 71.7% said they voted in a local, state, or federal election in 2016.

Among tHRive respondents surveyed, 55.8% currently serve on a board of directors or in a similar volunteer leadership position for a community or non-profit organization. This stems from the fact that 60% of those who participated in the survey said their company offers or pays for leadership training in their industry. When compared to the percentage of respondents whose employer pays for leadership training, it is an important reminder that businesses need to invest in the leaders of the region. Surprisingly, only 47.5% of those polled consider themselves a civic leader within Hampton Roads, demonstrating that more than half of the Millennials do not believe they have reached their full potential.

Close to 70% of respondents said it is important to them to hold a Board of Directors seat or serve in a similar volunteer leadership position, and more than 75% of those polled believe they have a good “work-life” balance. According to the survey results, the biggest roadblocks keeping Millennials in the region from getting more involved in these leadership roles are time, lack of opportunity, and weekly commitments.

Less than 10.8% of local young professionals in the region have participated in a leadership development program like LEAD Hampton Roads or CIVIC, but over 60.8% of respondents said they would be interested in participating in the future. An interesting point in the leadership dynamics is that 47.5% of Millennials surveyed do not have a professional mentor and only 32.5% meet with a mentor on a weekly or monthly basis. This statistic presents a shift in how millennials obtain their real world advising. This serves as an important reminder to local leaders that there are active measures they can take to mentor young professionals as a means of attraction and retention.

Close to 55.8% of survey respondents consider themselves to be from the Hampton Roads region. This statistic indicates that Millennials are not all exiting the region, while also demonstrating that a large number of Millennials are choosing to relocate into the area.

These survey results demonstrate that young professionals care about the region and want to become active and engaged agents of change. Hampton Roads’ Millennial population is ready and willing to step up to become the next generation of local leaders. We encourage the current leaders to invest in the future of the region by investing in Millennials.

Please contact us at info@YPtHRive.org to inquire further about the poll questions and results.