Millennials in Finance: Now and Then

Posted: Jun 17  |  By: Parker + Lynch

Millennials are making waves in the workforce. They’re changing the rules of what it means to be a professional — renouncing suits and ties for jeans and flip flops. Their motivated by a desire to add value to the world — to pursue jobs that make them feel proud of their day’s work.

Money is still important to millennials — they are, after all, the generation with the highest student debt load ever. Like their parents and grandparents, they dream of buying homes, starting families, and living comfortably.

But they also dream of something more — the ability to come to work and feel fulfilled. If they’re unhappy? They’ll flock to greener pastures without blinking twice — turnover that can be costly to your company’s recruiting efforts.

By the end of 2014, Millennials will comprise 36% of the United States workforce. By 2025? This group will be 75% of the global workforce.

It’s crucial to create a Millennial-friendly workplace by taking the following steps:

1. Compensate Well

Money isn’t the be-all-end-all for millennial workers — but it is the first step to making them happy. Millennials are saddled with extensive financial obligations — they’re facing heavy student loan burdens, stagnant wages, and exorbitantly high housing prices in key economic areas.

Millennials are relying on their jobs to life responsibly, avoid credit card debt, and make ends meet. Your company needs to pay above-market rates to be competitive for the best talent. Otherwise, millennials will leverage their positions are springboards into greener pastures.

2. Offer Flexibility

There’s work, and there’s life. Previous generations have established a rigid line between these two worlds — but not millennials.

Younger generations perceive the worlds of work, family, and health as a sliding scale. They’d rather flex and adapt to changing situations than perceive their workloads as black and white.

Yahoo may have implemented a ban on remote work — but it was likely the wrong move for engaging its millennial talent base. Young workers want flexibility to go to the gym, spend time with families, and take care of themselves. That’s why flexible schedules are a crucial — and essential — perk.

Office time is a must, but give millennials the freedom to work a their own pace — from anywhere. This trust is essential for building an engaged, happy, and healthy workforce.

3. Stand for More Than Profit

Millennials want to be part of a mission and vision that adds value to the world. Making money is important, but they’d rather do it right and be part of organizations that produce amazing products and services.

It’s crucial for your company to have a unifying mission and vision. To effectively engage millennials, it’s invaluable to make your mission and vision known across the entire organization.

Create a community service program. Build philanthropy into your business model. Implement cost-saving green energy programs, and encourage millennials to take charge.

4. Encourage Transparency and Feedback Systems

Millennials care about advancing in the workforce — but they don’t want to deal with politics games en route to the CEO title. They’d much rather support their peers as part of a flat organization.

There is more to the story, however. Millennials do care about advancing in their careers and skill sets. They crave feedback and want to be looped into key strategic initiatives.

Communication is the heart and soul of a millennial’s workflow. As an organization, it is important to build feedback loops between individuals’ contributions and overall strategic visions.

Your Thoughts

Are you a millennial? Have you managed millennials? What processes do you find most essential for finance teams? Share your thoughts — and most valuable learnings — in the comments section below.

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