Micala Ricketts
Micala Ricketts

By 2020, millennials will make up 50% of the workforce, yet only 29% of them say they are engaged at work, and 60% say they are open to new job opportunities. What does this mean for your firm? It means if you want to retain your millennial employees, you need to start paying attention to what they want. We’ve put together a list of three things you can do to keep millennial employees happy.

Use technology effectively

Millennials are used to having technology as a tool to get work done, so it can be frustrating to them when a workplace employs antiquated methods of doing things. When we asked five of our in-house millennial tax experts what role technology plays in accounting, the answer was unanimously that it plays a big role or that it should.

“The more technology automates, the more you become a professional rather than a paper-pusher or data entry person,” Cort Austin, CPA, said. “You have to learn tax law and the professionalism that comes with that quicker, which I think will make the capacity for accounting firms to handle their clients’ needs a lot greater.”

Rachel Young, CPA, said that she thinks the firms that aren’t willing to change are going to start losing clients to the firms that are changing and adopting new technology.

Not only will you lose out on clients if your firm’s technology lags, but you’ll likely lose younger employees as well.

Encourage career growth

Millennials don’t want to stay stagnant—they want the opportunity to learn new skill sets and be mentored. If you treat your younger employees like they are only capable of handling grunt work, they won’t stick around for long. To create a work environment that fosters growth, incorporate learning opportunities into your employees’ workloads. Ask the millennial employees in your practice to help with new tasks and cases. Hold regular trainings or personal development sessions. The more your employees can learn on the job, the more valuable of an employee they’ll be.

Going along with encouraging career growth, millennials also prefer receiving consistent feedback from their managers rather than having annual performance reviews. Meet with your employees on a monthly or even weekly basis and give them thoughtful feedback about what they’re doing right and how they can improve.

Offer work-life balance

One of the things millennials look for most in a job is work-life balance. If you want your millennial employees to be happier and more motivated, consider offering more flexibility in work schedules. A few ways you can become more flexible are:

  • Allowing employees to work remotely
  • Implementing one day a week where employees can leave an hour early
  • Offering more PTO

Allowing for more flexibility may feel like you’re risking productivity, but a study of 50,000 global workers actually found that employees who have good work-life balance work 21% harder than employees who don’t. And that’s not just true for millennials. Your other employees will also appreciate having extra time to spend with their family or enjoy a hobby.

Want some more insight into attracting and retaining millennial employees? Read Understanding the Millennial Employees in Your Accounting Firm.

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