Why Millennials Quit Their Finance or Accounting Job

By 2020 two thirds of millennials plan to leave their current organization.  One quarter see themselves leaving within the next year.  As baby boomers age, millennials are rapidly forming the backbone of growing organizations.  The question is – how do you retain them?  Here’s why the millennial population quit their accounting or finance job.

No Opportunities for Developing Leadership Skills
Millennials need to feel that they have opportunities to develop their leadership skills.  In a Deloitte survey of nearly 7700 millennials living in 29 different countries, 63% of respondents indicated that they were not able to develop their leadership potential with their current organization (respondents cited it as the number one reason to leave a role).

Solution:  Create a mentoring program that pairs more senior employees with millennials.  Consider rotating employees through different jobs so that they gain new expertise and knowledge.  Outline a clear path to advancement during the interview process and subsequent one on one meetings.

Values Disconnect
Personal values drive decision-making for millennials at work.  In fact, “61% of senior millennials (those with higher ranking job titles) chose not to undertake a task at work because it conflicted with their values” (David Cruickshank, Global Chairman, Deloitte).

Solution:  To retain a millennial workforce it’s important to understand the values that drive them.  With a focus on fair treatment, loyalty, integrity and customer care, millennials need to feel that the organization they work for is making a difference and that their role is integral to that.

Poor Management
Millennials are loyal to a manager, not necessarily an organization.  They do not excel with managers who have a directive style.  Instead, they value collaboration and consistent feedback.

Solution:  Since feedback is a critical part of a millennial’s growth, understanding how to give constructive criticism is imperative.  Schedule regular one-on-one meetings with team members.  Solicit input and allow room for open expression of ideas.  Ensure that the millennial employee understands how their role contributes to achieving the overall vision of the organization.

Resource:  Read “Democrat or Autocrat: 5 Finance Management Styles and When to Use Them.”

No Work/Life Balance
When asked the question, “what’s necessary for a good life” 82% of millennials stated that a strong work/life balance would lead to personal fulfillment.  When the same question was asked of baby boomers, only 74% felt the same.  And when it comes to achieving their personal goals and dreams, 75% of millennials felt this was necessary for good life, while only 55% of baby boomers felt the same.

Solution:  Consider flexible working hours, or if possible, allowing staff to work remotely 1 to 2 days a week.  In addition, organizations like Google allocate a percentage of working hours for company employees to work on their own personal projects – perhaps there is room for similar program.

Article:  Read this great article for more insight on millennials and how they see work/life balance.

Key Takeaways
Millennials require a different approach than their baby boomer, or X generation coworkers.  More than either group, they are motivated by consistent feedback and a chance to develop their leadership potential.  They need a clear career path for advancement and recognition by management when a job is well done.  They are also motivated to stay at an organization that offers work/life balance and flexibility.  Finally, they need to feel that their values and the company’s values are in alignment.  To attract and retain a millennial workforce it cannot be business as usual.

Your Next Step
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