I recently hosted a discussion panel with the emerging workforce, all future CPAs. The focus was on the future of work and knowledge and learning development in organizations. The panel was held at the May Leadership Cabinet and Emerging Leaders Alliance meeting through the Indiana CPA Society and the panel included a high school senior (an INCPAS Scholar) and three university students (junior/seniors and one a former INCPAS Scholar).
These are some of the things they talked about:
- Don’t ask for my opinion unless you are going to listen and demonstrate that you care — be authentic and show me my opinion matters.
- Why do I have to conform to a 9-5 or 8-4 work schedule. I don’t work well between eight and 12, so why are you going to pay me for four hours of low productivity?
- Treat me as an individual — I don’t like one-size-fits-all solutions
- Family is important. What happens if I need to care for sick children? Can I work from home? Why do I need to be in the office and why do I need to work nine to five? These comments were from a male student.
- Understand me and my situation. Nurture me, be transparent and show me a path for progression.
- I like to collaborate, don’t stick me in a cubicle!
- When you position a problem in my world “it is like being punched in the face,” but when you speak in general terms that don’t relate to me I just lose interest.
- Don’t give me “tests,” give me real world problems to solve.
- Put trust in me and don’t feel as if you have to control me.
- Show me you care!
Times are changing. It is not up to the emerging generation to conform to the ways organizations currently work. Organizations operate in a competitive knowledge and talent economy. It is up to leadership and management in organizations to adapt to the needs of the emerging workforce.
What are you doing now to prepare your competitive advantage in 2020-2025?