Managing Your Young Accountants

The arrival of Generation Y (aka The Millennials) into the workforce has created mixed emotions for employers. On the one hand, this crop of young adults is sorely needed. The mass exodus of the Baby Boomers has created a void which the much smaller Generation X could never hope to fill. At the same time, however, Millennials are a mixture of talent and entitlement. As a result, they can just as easily be viewed with optimism as with disdain.

Surveys have shown that the “Everybody Gets a Trophy Generation” expects to enter the workforce several steps up the corporate ladder. They don’t want to pay their proverbial dues, expecting executive responsibilities, titles, and salaries from day one. Meanwhile, they don’t like set work schedules and social networking is likely to take up just as much of their work time as actually performing their job duties. That’s what’s been suggested anyway. Of course, stereotypes can be dangerous.

On the flip side of the coin, Millennials are said to be highly talented and creative. They look at things differently than their Generation X and Boomer predecessors and possess a natural curiosity that makes them ideal team members, particularly when the time comes to brainstorm. And then there’s the ease with which they approach technology. Remember, this is a generation which has never known what it’s like to live without a microwave, a computer, and a cell phone.

So when it comes to managing young accountants, you must keep all these characteristics in mind. Since they expect to advance quickly, developmental opportunities are paramount. Be sure to provide lots of feedback and elicit their comments as well. They are not likely to hold anything back. As a result, you will not only get a good idea of what they expect from the job, you’re likely to get a good idea of what they expect from you, too!

Likewise, mentoring is highly valued by Generation Y. Since they view themselves on par with their older, more experienced colleagues, they are comfortable interfacing with them. While it’s often easy to be put off by their bravado, it’s far better to look upon such interactions as opportunities to teach them, guide them, and support them.

And when it comes to Generation Y’s expectations surrounding flexible work hours and time to update their Facebook status, employers are generally taking the stance that such concessions are fine, as long as the work gets done. Regardless of what generation you’re talking about, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

For further assistance with landing you talented accountants, contact Daley and Associates. We have the knowledge to help you with any challenge that comes your way.

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