Looking at millennials in the work place, businesses must also embrace transformation
When we talk about millennials in the workplace and the lack of understanding of their career goals and personal wants, specifically in the accounting profession, there are a number of factors we have to look at.
Speaking at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean’s (ICAC) 36th Caribbean Conference of Accountants earlier today, PwC partner, Myra Lundy-Mortimer said, “What essentially do millennials want for their careers in accounting? What will make them thrive in their roles, as accounting professionals and what can we do to dispel the myths about them and understand the true nature of who millennials are and what they want? How can we work together, collaborate and share our ideas to make an impact in our work place and in the services we provide? We need to take a look at what we perceive them to be, so that we can begin to understand their approach to work, how well they balance their work and what they need to allow them to thrive in the world they will soon dominate. There are many stereotypes and myths about millennials and many comparisons to Generation X, we’ll need to take a closer look to recognise our staff and our clients for who they are, rather than what we perceive them to be,” she added.
Lundy-Mortimer pointed out that in the accountancy profession we will soon see a shift in the workplace and the changing faces of our talent, if it hasn’t started already, which will lead to a closer examination of why millennials are so important to the profession.
“As a Human Capital Partner at PwC Bahamas, I have seen the changing dynamics and faces of work in our accounting profession. Within PwC in the Caribbean alone, millennials accounts for 74% of our workforce to date. It is estimated that by 2025 the accounting industry will comprise of 75% of millennials. These figures present an opportunity for each of us to take a closer look at our recruitment and retention strategies for millennials,” she said.
She pointed out that in 2013, PwC along with the University of Southern California and the London Business School announced the results of a unique and unprecedented two-year global generational study titled PwC’s Next Gen: A global generational study, which revealed a wide range of data gathered from employees and partners of PwC network firms around the globe, involving people from different generations, career stages and cultural backgrounds.
That was followed by the PwC study released in 2017 titled Engaging and empowering millennials which spoke to flexibility, technology, innovative programmes regarding career decisions, mobility and a sense of community – all recommendations found to engage and empower millennials.
She added that PwC continues its understanding of millennials as it’ll continue to showcase this year with PwC NextGen Education: Accelerator Academy, which will continue to help PwC, and by extension their clients, to better understand and work with millennials; providing what they really want in the profession.
Lundy-Montimer ended her presentation with a request from the audience, most of whom were from the accounting profession: “I challenge you to contest the stereotypes, change the conversation from why they matter, to how our corporate cultures, our work spaces, and how we communicate with each other, can allow us to evolve as an industry of change; where Baby Boomers, Generation X and millennials can work cohesively to a successful end. How well accounting millennials adapt to their roles whether in professional services or the public sector is an important indication of how well we are willing to integrate them into their roles to allow them to understand the joys, pains and expectations as future leaders. Together, we can accomplish more working with this uniquely ambitious generation.”