With Millennial talent rising through the ranks of businesses around the world, the priorities in most modern corporations are changing. The values that governed C-Suite leadership over the past decades are likely to shift as Millennials begin to share the spotlight and the control over the direction of companies. Given that 75% of the workforce will be Millennials by 2025 according to Director of Finance, it is logical to take some time to consider the upcoming shifts in leadership style, approach, and goals.
Millennial Leadership is Employee Focused
The signs point to the fact that millennials find it extremely important to offer competitive pay and to focus on keeping great people in jobs. For a generation that has experienced a lot of job turnover since the 2008 recession, as well as stagnating wages that affect all levels, Millennials have emerged as champions of employees, even as they succeed and receive promotions.
Thoughtful if Sceptical Incorporation of Digital Technology
For everything from marketing automation to digital HR products, Millennials are less excited about automation than their Gen. X counterparts. In a world where there is now a software for almost any task imaginable, Millennials are more likely to consider whether there is value-added in having a task done by human resources rather than computing power. They are more likely to seek hybrid solutions, finding ways that digital technology can make their human workers more efficient, less error-prone, and more satisfied at work.
A Place of Shared Interest: Remote Work Flexibility
Both Generation X and Millennials share an interest in remote work flexibility, so investments on the part of Finance Directors in that direction make sense. Generation X has the history of desiring substantial work-life balance, with the possibility of leaving the office in the evening and not thinking about work until returning the next day. Flexible work for Gen X involves the chance to work from home when they are ill, caring for a child, or have other commitments.
For Millennials, the pressure exists to be constantly available because of their adolescence and adulthood with mobile phones connecting everyone. The interest in remote work flexibility for Millennials often stems from the idea of being able to work from anywhere, given that they tend to enjoy mixing work with travel. In either case, investing in both the hardware needed to keep remote work possible, as well as creating the policies that will govern your company’s remote work, is a good way to reach both demographics even before many of your executives are Millennials themselves.
Pride in Company’s Purpose is a Primary Concern
One point made in American Express’s commissioned research project Redefining the C-Suite: Business the Millennial Wayis that Millennials crave meaning when it comes to work. “Millennials are in general ambitious and motivated, while also seeking work with a purpose beyond simply earning money,” the report points out. As Millennials become executives, we will begin to see that articulating the benefits of the company existing in the world, along with its ethical commitments, will become a primary concern.
Millennials understand the importance of profit and fiscal responsibility, but they are firmly beyond the thinking of finding passion in one’s hobbies and simply punching a clock at the day job. Especially as they gain more power to influence their companies, you’ll want, as a Finance Director, to be at the centre of the discussion about what the company wants to value most, and how they want to be seen by the world. This impacts the recruitment of Millennials into C-suite positions, but also the ability to sell effectively to Millennials.
Finance Directors benefit from looking to the future and realising that the next generation of executives will likely have different priorities. As the first generations of “digital natives” become management, the industries in which they work need to change their financial investments as well.