Employee activism in the age of purpose: Employee (up)rising 

Weber Shandwick, in partnership with United Minds and KRC Research, has released Employee Activism in the Age of Purpose: Employees (UP)Rising as an expansion upon Weber Shandwick’s extensive work on corporate activism. While our previous research focuses on the impact of CEO activism on consumers, technology professionals and marketing and communications leaders, this latest study explores a movement in which employees are speaking up about their employers.

Nearly four in 10 employees (38 per cent) report that they have spoken up to support or criticise their employers’ actions over a controversial issue that affects society. These employees are Employee Activists. Millennials are the generation most likely to be Employee Activists (48 per cent), a rate significantly higher than that of Gen Xers (33 per cent) and Boomers (27 per cent).


Among recent Employee Activists, the most common targets of their attention were other employees (46 per cent) and top leaders at the organisation (43 per cent). Approximately one-third of those who took action were also hoping to get the attention of the general public (35 per cent). They were less likely to want the attention of financial investors of the organisation (12 per cent) and the news media (11 per cent).


Employee Activism in the Age of Purpose: Employees (UP)Rising provides recommendations that organisations should consider when navigating the new wave of employee activism. View the report below or access as a PDF here.