Ever wonder what it will take for your business to hire and retain the best employees? Are you having trouble understanding the new generation of workers? As a Millennial myself, I hope to bridge the gap to better understand the upcoming workforce.

There seems to be no rush to get to where Millennials are heading in life. Many wait longer to get married, have children and though highly educated, even wait longer to find a career. Employers should not be surprised that the newly graduated 22 year old does not know where they want to be 5 or 10 years from now.

The motivation for many Millennials is to discover and fulfill their passion rather than to earn a higher salary. Don’t get me wrong, money is a factor in seeking the best job, but it is certainly not the number one determinate.

How should employers make the most of this generation? Open up the lines of communication, support flexibility, and allow employees to discover their passion, both inside and outside work.

Communication and feedback on a timely basis is crucial. Millennials have grown up with instant gratification and answers at their fingertips. Waiting for a yearly evaluation just won’t cut it. Most prefer to know how they are performing at the end of a specific task or function. This will allow them to turn constructive criticism into positive changes along the way.

What could this look like? Quarterly meetings with a mentor in management is a great way to start.

Flexibility is the second key to happiness for Millennials. Allow them to have say in where, when, or how their work will get done to set the tone that you believe that they can make a difference. This young workforce will not react kindly to “that is just the way we do it around here.” Help them to focus on efficiencies and the quality of the work rather than do it your way just because.

My employer gave me the basic requirements for meeting client needs and set up some required times, but allows the bulk of my time to be flexible. As a Millennial, being able to control a portion of my schedule and workload lets me know that my employer wants to work towards building my career.

If time is not a flexible component of your business, revamping your benefits package, including retirement savings, wellness plans or community volunteer time could provide the flexibility Millennials seek. Get in touch with your business advisors to determine which benefits might work best.

Most importantly, Millennials are not lazy; in fact, just the opposite is true, they are passionate and hardworking when part of a team. To tap into their talents, it is very important to recognize and embrace the generational differences so that you too can play a part in grooming the leaders of the future.

Jessica Marin, MBA/CPA is employed as a senior accountant at Perry, Fitts, Boulette & Fitton, CPAs with offices in Bath and Oakland. She helps individuals and businesses with tax planning preparation and works on compiled and reviewed financial statements for businesses. She can be reached at [email protected] or 371-8002.