By Jim Wong, CPA | February 22, 2017

The millennial generation, many of whom are recent college graduates, have an immense amount of energy in the workplace which has sparked excitement across many professions. For accounting, finance and information technology professionals, the influx of millennial co-workers comes with its pros and cons. There’s still plenty of discussion surrounding millennials’ levels of motivation and dedication to their roles.

No generation is a perfect one—rather than focusing on the negative concerns that surround this generation, it’s important to spend some time honing in on the positive aspects of the millennials that are joining the workforce in large numbers.

I recently came across a Forbes article that discusses how to strengthen leadership skills especially as they relate to millennials. For accounting, finance and information technology professionals, understanding the millennial mindset in regards to leadership is especially important to do. I decided to share some of my own suggestions as well.

Learn 3 Helpful Hints for Engaging Millennials in the Workplace below.

1. Resist the urge to micromanage…unless it’s absolutely mandatory. 
This can be a tough one for most managers, and that includes managers who are millennials, but the idea is that every employee, no matter their ages should be accountable to complete their work on time without being told how to spend their time. While it might seem tempting to dictate how each minute is spent, try to take a step back and allow for autonomy. The writer of this article writes, “If you notice the iPhone is taking precedence over actual work, it’s more than acceptable to call out the behavior.”

2. Allow millennials to be involved in meaningful work. 
There is a notorious idea that millennials take shortcuts to avoid hard work, and while this is certainly a possibility for employees of all ages, many recent college graduates are actually itching to work more. A recent New York Times article found that many millennials who value their work are willing to spend countless hours at the office, fine-tuning their projects to perfection. Allowing millennials to become involved in smaller meaningful projects will help prepare for larger scale projects in the future.

3. Encourage their passions and creativity. 
The writer of the Forbes article states, “Millennials are fueled by the issues that matter to them. That might strike you as self-centered upon the first read, but consider the significance of the global events to which millennials commit themselves.” In order to motivate a growing number of millennial employees, managers might want to consider encouraging employees to explore their personal interests and try to incorporate those into their work, if possible. For example, try creating volunteer opportunities that align with the interests of younger employees.

These are only a few of the ways to help millennials strengthen their leadership abilities. Do you have other suggestions? Comment below and let us know.

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