Workers increasingly want their companies to think bigger than profits and speak up on social issues — and it's younger employees driving the trend.

The big picture: As the next generation enters the workforce, companies will have to devote even more time and resources to tackling issues like systemic racism, income inequality, and climate change.

 There isn't a single issue that stands out when young people are asked what they expect their employers to care about, according to a new Axios/Generation Lab poll of college students. The range of causes include:

  • 17% say companies need to pay most attention to racial diversity and inclusion
  • 21% say climate change
  • 22% say better pay for low-wage workers
  • 16% say reskilling or upskilling
  • 20% say better health care and child care benefits.

Overall, 68% say companies should take public stances on social issues and another 16% go as far as to say they wouldn't work for a company that doesn't.

  • "There is no silver bullet for companies," says Cyrus Beschloss, founder of Generation Lab.

Companies will have to broaden their mission statements as the war for talent is increasingly won on how firms respond to — and take action to remedy — societal issues.

Poll methodology: This survey was conducted Aug. 11–13 from a demographically representative sample of 846 students from two– and four–year schools.