Leadership / Management | Organizational Development

Generational encounters: A millennial’s perspective

The title of the paper says it all, Generational Encounters: Goodbye Boomers, Welcome Millennials!

What a treat when a student member from the University of Baltimore gets inspired from our NYPN Generational Symposium, gets approval to write a research paper on generations and then presents it to the MACPA Board of Directors in May, 2014. Pictured is MACPA Past-Chair Byron Patrick, Tanyeka Alexander (student), Tom Hood, and Professor Dalton Tong.

She started her presentation with her story of why this topic intrigued her...

Attending the Generational Symposium in July, 2013. Held by NYPN, a dynamic group within the MACPA. The event was lectured by Tom Hood CPA,CITP,CGMA.

I left the event with a thirst to explore more about generational controversies in the workplace. Particularly those generational cohorts leaving and approaching the career world.

There is a clash of ideals brewing in today’s workplace: on the one side is the Baby Boomers who are in charge, experienced...and used to getting things done their way; on the other is the Millennials who possess superior technical skills, are hardworking, but have different strategies for life-- they have different definitions of success… 

Millennials want meaningful jobs:

  • Listed meaningful work amongst three important factors defining career success.
  • Have low tolerance for less-than-challenging work.
  • Are more engaged and less likely to leave current positions.

Millennials are attracted to organizations that:

  • Invest heavily in training and development.
  • Allow variety within daily workload.
  • Provide opportunities for long-term career progression.

Here is Tanyeka's research paper in its entirety:

Generational Encounters - Tanyeka Alexander - University of Baltimore (MACPA Student Member) from Tom Hood

She offers advice to her generation and what Millennials need to know:

  • There are skills that you need to learn that aren’t taught in the classroom.
  • As you are the future, situate yourself to take one of these chief leadership roles when the workforce switches and older generations retire.
  • By learning how to manage relationships with those in other generations, you will become more advantageous.
  • Companies are looking for talented individuals who can demonstrate leadership, organizational, teamwork, listening and coaching skills.

She concuded with the following points:

  • Communication is key, we all need to learn how to work together as a multi-generational workforce.
  • Millennials will continue to enter the workforce, bringing with them a need for coaching and mentoring.
  • Although Millennials may enter your firm as diamonds in the rough, there are ways to help make those jewels shine.
  • When preparing to leave the company, encourage, engage, and share wisdom to the succeeding generation that will eventually run the company.

Change is inevitable, the Millennials have arrived. Now what?

The focus should be on welcoming them to the workforce and encouraging the retiring Baby Boomers to impart their wisdom to prepare and empower the Millennials in order to sustain future success of the organization.  

What to do about the entry of Millennials into the workplace:

Understand them. Embrace them. Engage them. Retain them.

More on Generations from CPA Success: