How Technology Is Used By Different GenerationsMillennials in the workplace.

Whether you refer to them as Generation Y or Millennials, your employees born between the early 1980s and early 2000s are the up-and-coming future leaders and decision makers of your Company. As is the case with every generation, the Millennials have their own set of unique characteristics. These generational attributes are crucial for business owners and leaders to recognize and understand in order to maximize output, and retain top talent.

What motivates Millennials and what do they value? Numerous studies and surveys have strikingly similar conclusions. These findings are summarized below:

Flexibility: As a generation, Millennials place a higher value on their personal pursuits outside of work than previous generations did. As a result, Millennials strive for flexibility in their jobs, to allow the time to enjoy their passions outside of work. This may include the ability to perform some work tasks from home, or to shift hours into the evening. An effective way to achieve workplace flexibility, is by leveraging technology to streamline communication. This fosters a communication-driven, team-based environment, and will meet the needs of Millennials while maintaining the Company's commitment to achieving its goals.

Culture: Because Millennials value their free time, they realize that the majority of their day is spent at work. As a result, Millennials pursue companies that cultivate unique, fun, and collaborative cultures. So, in other words - have fun! Providing opportunities for employees to interact in a light-hearted atmosphere creates a culture of teamwork, and the sense of community that they desire. In addition, Millennials appreciate transparency around compensation, rewards, and career growth. They desire to see the big picture and be part of the success, rather than simply being just another "office drone".

Invest: Invest in them and invest in your communities. Provide opportunities for them to demonstrate their worth and grow in their careers. Help them feel fulfilled and become more productive by providing the opportunity for mentor/mentee relationships. In addition, studies have concluded that this generation has a high level of social consciousness. Millennials have a desire to make a difference in the world, and to work for a Company with similar values. Organizing community service events and investing in your communities will help attract and retain top talent.

As the Millenial generation becomes increasingly prevalent in the professional sphere, it's time to consider the best ways to manage and leverage their talents. One size does not fit all for each Company, so - invest the time and resources to listen and stay connected to your people in order to find the solution that best suits your organization.

Delap LLP is one of Portland’s largest local tax, audit, and consulting accounting firms, located in Lake Oswego, Oregon.