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5 Ways Ambitious CEOs Can Attract Millennial Workers

5 Ways Ambitious CEOs Can Attract Millennial Workers

(Getty/Justin Sullivan)

By Thursday, 15 December 2016 08:27 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Sophie Bera started her career working at a traditional registered investment advisory (RIA). After one year, the 30 something year old left to work for a FinTech startup instead.

“The benefits were about the same but I got to work remotely at the start up company,” Bera said.

Bera is among the 34 percent of millennial women and 27 percent of millennials overall who say that having a good work-life balance is important, according to an ACUVUE Brand Contact Lenses study.

“I worked more hours at the traditional RIA than I did at the smaller company,” Bera told Newsmax Finance. “Today I own my own business.”

Because millennials are the workforce of the future, CEOs cannot afford to ignore what this tech savvy generation demands.

“One challenge companies face is knowing how to become millennial-ready,” said Zac Carman, CEO of ConsumerAffairs in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

At ConsumerAffairs, the majority of 200 employees are millennials with a few exceptions.

“They are redefining what it is like to live life in early

adulthood with constant job-hopping, postponing marriage and parenthood but when they kick in, they'll try to save the world through their careers,” said Chuck Underwood, a generational consultant based in Miamisburg, Ohio.

Entrepreneurs and CEOs alike need to listen up and prepare for the continued onslaught of these workers born in the 1980s and 1990s because they will make up 50 percent of the labor force by 2020.

Below are five strategies:

Cultivate a culture of empathy

Some 25 percent will accept less pay to work for an empathetic employer, according to the Businessolver Workplace Empathy Monitor, and 20 percent have considered leaving a company that lacks an empathetic culture.

“It’s important to understand how different generations perceive and consider empathy in their careers because millennials want more of it,” Carman told Newsmax Finance. “We create it in our office on a daily basis with a team building exercise called Stand Up Mondays.”

During Stand Up Mondays, ConsumerAffairs staffers who work on site rotate in multiple circles made up of all levels of employees for 15 minutes.

“We tell each other about the most impactful thing we did over the weekend and the most impactful task we plan to complete today,” Carman said. “The resulting camaraderie helps everyone connect on a human level and to work as a team.”

While capturing the commitment of millennials is no small feat, tapping into it reaps many rewards.

“We have found that millennials are incredibly passionate, work hard, and truly care about the success of the organizations they work for and their mission to make the world a better place,” said John Baker, CEO and founder of Desire2Learn (D2L). “If you can harness that passion, millennial workers can make your business unstoppable.”

Assign a Mentor or Coach to New Millennial Workers

When Carman was looking to hire a vice president of engineering, he promoted a junior employee and appointed a mentor to assist her transition into the pioneering leadership role.

“With a little coaching, that junior engineer, who happened to be in the right place at the right time, became the perfect functional leader for the department,” Carman said.

Mentors and coaches can be instrumental in ensuring that the millennial does not feel lost in the shuffle and receives guidance or support to stay at the company on their way up the corporate ladder.

“Most are pretty open with their opinions and will freely discuss struggles with a colleague or superior if they feel a true connection to that coworker,” said Deb Meyer, CEO of WorthyNest, a fee-only financial planning firm

Respect generational differences

Millennials typically work differently than other employees who are boomers or Gen Xers because they were raised as digital natives rather than digital immigrants, according to experts.

“We are the first generation that was born using technology,” said Carman. “That ease and familiarity is currency.”

As a result, while older generations are fine with reading a brochure or book to learn company policies or needed skills, millennials are not.

“They might prefer to text message their cubicle mate who is less than three feet away and they may even have parents or grandparents who are younger than their supervisor,” said Richard Yep, CEO of the American Counseling Association. “They may wear headphones when they work,”

Regardless of how different their approach to working appears, experts advise discarding any age bias and embracing the positive implications of age diversity.

Invest in the latest gadgets, apps, tools and technology

While older workers are accustomed to completing forms and waiting a few days to find out how many sick days they have remaining, young workers won’t stand for it.

“Employers will have more success in retaining, attracting and motivating employees by integrating tools, technology and apps built to adapt,” said Carman.

With the advent of robo-advisers and advanced ways for consumers to track their 401k plans, compensation and stock options, the traditional method for tracking employee benefits is outdated. Millennials expect to access this information by mobile device and CEOs nationwide are catching on.

A Bankrate study found that the number of companies offering automatic enrollment is holding steady at about 30 percent but it's expected to increase to 50 percent.

That’s because 87 percent of millennials say their smart phone never leaves their side, according to a study by Mitek.

“CEOs need to work with plan sponsors to incorporate technology and practices into their workplace retirement plan designs that millennials prefer,” Carman said.

Have a heart!

Despite the instant gratification nature of this generation, millennials, as a demographic, are humanitarians.

By sheer numbers, they undercut and re-created capitalism with their compulsion to share. Think Airbnb, FlightCar and Uber.

“CEOs will want to adopt technology that help millennials connect with colleagues and management and that helps them understand how their work fits into the bigger picture,” said Jeannine Kunz, vice president of Tooling U-SME.

Today’s millennial workers also appreciate employers that give back and that are environmentally conscious.

“Millennials are very interested in the Environmental Social Governance (ESG) trends, and in particular, how a company behaves,” said Jessica Ground, global head of stewardship with Schroders. “They want to know a company’s record with human rights, for example, whereas previous generations may have been concerned with tobacco.”

Some 93 percent compared to only 68 percent of Gen Xers and 51 percent of Baby Boomers believe that social or environmental impact is important when making investment decisions, according to the 2014 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth survey.

“Tools and campaigns that help them do this at work can build stronger relationships between workers and employers,” said Carman.

No matter how it’s diced, millennials are a segment of the American population that CEOs cannot ignore.

Juliette Fairley is an author, lecturer and TV host based in New York.

© 2020 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

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No matter how it’s diced, millennials are a segment of the American population that CEOs cannot ignore.
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Thursday, 15 December 2016 08:27 PM
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