4 Approaches to Retaining Millennials

Gina Deveney
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Retaining millennials is a growing issue in the business community, particularly among companies that need long-term commitments. For accounting firms, which thrive on consistency, finding ways to keep these young professionals happy is a top priority. By rethinking your approach to employee satisfaction and engagement, you can reduce turnover and cut back on hiring and training costs.

1. Embrace Flexibility

Millennial workers value a flexible work environment. A recent PwC study, entitled "PwC’s NextGen: A global generational study," found that 64 percent of millennial respondents indicated an interest in working from home on occasion, while 66 percent want to shift their standard working hours. If your accounting firm is interested in retaining millennials, adding flexibility can be a key step. Allow employees to work from home one or two days a week, or consider instituting a flex-time policy that enables employees to leave early and make up the hours by coming in early or working at night. During tax season and other busy times, this flexibility can allow workers to attend to personal commitments without sacrificing productivity.

2. Create a Positive Atmosphere

According to the PwC NextGen study, millennials desire more support and appreciation in the workplace than previous generations. As such, retaining millennials may require changes to your company culture. If your workers tend to operate independently, make an effort to create a community in the workplace. Institute training programs that help employees achieve their professional goals, or pair younger workers with more experienced mentors to build strong inter-generational relationships. Help employees feel like their work is making a difference by recognizing their efforts at meetings and offering a personal thank-you for a job well done. These small steps can create a positive atmosphere in the workplace that benefits workers from all age groups.

3. Offer Perks for High Performers

Retaining millennials in general is a small piece of the puzzle; to boost your company's profits, you must focus on retaining your highest-performing millennials. Start by rewarding your best workers with tangible benefits, such as higher pay, first choice of clients or better office spaces. This method encourages repeat behavior and provides incentive to stay with the company. For accounting businesses with limited promotion opportunities, a reward system can be invaluable in retaining millennials; it prevents workers from getting bored or discontent while they wait to move to the next level.

4. Be Transparent

The millennial generation grew up with the Internet and are often accustomed to the transparency that the online world promotes. As a result, they may be less likely to put up with murky policies, shady business practices or companies that keep employees in the dark. Keep your younger workers happy by being upfront and honest, particularly during difficult times. In the process, you can demonstrate respect and create more trust.

If your accounting company relies on long-term employees for success, retention programs should be a top priority. Since many methods for retaining millennials also benefit everyone in the company, they are a viable use of time and resources.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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