I attended one of The Ohio Society’s Fall Professional Issues Updates this week. The Professional Issues Updates, or PIUs, is four hours of free CPE for OSCPA members on news and views about what’s happening in the CPA profession today and tomorrow.
One doesn’t have to be a CPA to relate to all the topics that were discussed at the PIU. Topics such as the challenges employers and employees are facing with several generations currently in the workplace strikes a chord with a wide audience. Being a Millennial (or Gen Y’er) myself, I understand where a lot of the younger workers are coming from when trying to find that perfect balance of work and life, and being understood in the workplace. So, what is it exactly that Millennials want?
A major misconception placed upon us is that we don’t work as hard as our older generation colleagues. The reality is we fully believe that we can work just as hard while maintaining a life outside of the office (we are always connected after all). Millennials value flexibility in the workplace that allows us to get our work done on our own time. It is also my belief that Millennials work well with members of all generations, as we tend to be open-minded and tend to try new things more easily. (Disclaimer: This is not meant to detract from non-millennial workers, as I have met and worked with countless open-minded individuals that are from other [older] generations. I am simply pointing out that Millennials tend to be more open-minded than other generations. Yes I know, it’s a generalization, but you can’t always get away from that so take it at what you will.)
Millennials saw what it was like for our parents to try to make ends-meet, sometimes working more than one job, sometimes laid-off and working odd jobs just to try to stay afloat. Millennials are out to change that for our generation – it’s okay for our generation to have had several jobs, or careers in our early and mid-20s, while we’re trying to figure it all out and gain as much exposure and experience as possible before we bring a family into the mix. Our priorities, expectations and behaviors are not the same as those of our parents.
As OSCPA’s President and CEO Clarke Price mentioned during the PIU presentation, there are Three “Rs” and Three “Cs” to what Millennials are looking for professionally and I can say that (cliché alert) he hit the nail on the head:
• Interesting and meaningful work
• An opportunity to learn
• A positive environment
• Some flexibility
• To be thanked for a job well-done
• As having made a difference
• Associated with businesses that care about people and community
• Not subjected to fault finding
• Told the “why” they are being asked to do what they are doing
• On what will affect them
• To employer and employee mission
• How do I fit in?
• Meaningful part of the whole
So, in short: Millennials want to be valued. We want to be mentored, not managed. We want to be consulted and involved in decision-making processes. And just like technology, which is a part of our genetic makeup, we are always changing, evolving, and never settling. We want to do a good job and succeed, but it’s inevitable that we’re going get to the end goal in a way that’s different from most of our older co-workers.