Posted by Jane Irene Kelly on Monday, December 30, 2013 - 00:00
Here’s a revelation likely to leave most accounting and finance managers feeling a bit frustrated: Despite your best efforts to make your firm appealing to Millennial talent, many of these professionals may already be laying the groundwork for their next career move.
A recent Robert Half survey found that nearly half (48 percent) of younger workers (ages 18-24) are comfortable looking for work while they’re employed, and may go as far as searching for a new gig while at the office.
Reading this, you may wonder, “Why make the extra effort to recruit and retain Millennials if they’re just going to leave?” Well, if your firm is like many others, you’re probably having difficulty finding skilled talent for available roles. And if you have a growing number of seasoned accounting and finance professionals on your staff edging toward retirement, you really can’t afford not to bring more Gen Y talent into your firm sooner than later. Your company also can benefit from the fresh perspectives that Millennial professionals can offer to the business.
Tips for Retaining Gen Y
Just because research shows many Millennial employees have no qualms about investigating potential job opportunities while working for their current employer, it doesn’t mean your Gen Y staff members are eyeing the door. If they are, it might not be because they’re unhappy working for your organization; it may be more a case of their not being motivated to stay. Here’s some advice for increasing your chances of holding onto Gen Y talent for the longer term:
1. Offer challenging assignments right out of the gate
Many Millennial professionals are eager to stretch their abilities. Make good use of their energy and enthusiasm from day one by offering interesting and high-profile projects that match their abilities.
2. Promote “team up” arrangements
Find opportunities for Millennial employees to collaborate on assignments with more experienced staff members. This will help to facilitate knowledge transfer as well as build camaraderie between the different generations in your accounting and finance department.
3. Encourage fresh thinking
Millennial workers can bring new ideas to the table, which in turn can help to fuel innovation. Knowing that management wants them to contribute in this way also can make less-experienced employees feel valued.
4. Check in regularly
You should touch base often with Generation Y staff members. Many of these professionals want to work for managers who take a sincere interest in their job satisfaction and career growth, and maintain an open-door policy.
Of course, despite your best efforts, you may not be able to retain some of your Gen Y team members as long as you’d like. When Millennial workers do move on, invite them to an exit interview. Ask them what they enjoyed most about working for your organization, and even more important, what they didn’t like. Their insights can help your firm become more effective at recruiting and retaining talent, in general.