The financial services industry has long been known to have a rather hierarchical corporate structure.
In most financial services organizations advancement is defined by seniority and tenure.
The use of technology is tightly controlled and regulated, and information is maintained in silos and shared with those that need it, when they need it.
What kind of appeal does this type of culture hold for Millennials who have very different work expectations than preceding generations?
Without painting the whole generation with the same broad brush stroke, let's first take a look at the profile of an "average" Millennial. Do any of these characteristics seem surprising to you?
Profile of a Millennial
Millennials, those born between 1982 and 2001, make up 25% of the current US workforce*. They have a very distinctive profile:
- High self-esteem, confident
- Expect coaching, including regular feedback and recognition
- Seek out growth opportunities and rapid advancement
- Relaxed view of authority
- Tech savvy, socially inclined
- Respect, and are comfortable with, diversity
- Work/life balance
In a more traditional industry like financial services the importance of shifting corporate culture to appeal to this younger demographic can't be underestimated.
With one study indicating that more than 60 percent of senior-level executives will reach retirement age over the next several years, financial services organizations need to be doing all they can to attract and retain Millennials.
In its recent report Millennials at work - Reshaping the workplace in financial services, PwC found 21% of Millennials said they do not want to work in financial services.
Of those surveyed already working in financial services, they report some interesting stats on the things important to this generation:
- 69% felt that rigid hierarchies and outdated management styles failed to get the most out of younger recruits.
- 76% of those in insurance said they would consider leaving an employer whose behavior no longer met their standards.
- 48% were actively looking for new opportunities.
- 34% expect to have six or more employers during their career.
- 66% claim that state-of-the-art technology is important to them when considering an employer.
- Work-Life Balance
- 94% said work-life balance is a priority
Feedback and Recognition
- 29% in the banking sector indicated they were dissatisfied with the level of recognition they receive for their work.
- 68% said that while companies talk about diversity, they felt that opportunities were not equal for all.
PwC also reports on the factors that make an employer in financial services attractive to Millennials:
Given the expectations of Millennials, financial services organizations will need to evaluate their current approach to recruiting and management to ensure they have what it takes to attract and retain this new generation, particularly during the current global talent shortage.
For more information about attracting Millennials to financial services organizations, read the full PwC report linked to above.
To learn more about Millennials and how to best manage them, view the archived Halogen webinar: Seriously You Don't Get Me Do You? What Millennials Want You to Know About How to Engage Them.
Do you agree with PwC's findings and in your experience, is managing Millennials so completely different from managing other generations in your workforce?
* Source: PwC Millennials at work - Reshaping the workplace in financial services