Generations / demographics Management / Strategy Talent management

Employee engagement in the millennial age

Deloitte launched the #ImpactThatMatters social media campaign in December to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which took place in January. The hashtag asked what issues matter and what world leaders – and business in particular – should be doing to make a difference regarding those issues. Deloitte's 2015 Millennial Survey echoed the hashtag.

The survey, which included more than 7,800 millennials and represented 29 countries around the globe, reported that for millennials, a "sense of purpose" was often cited as part of the reason they chose to work for their current employers.

"The message is clear,” Deloitte Global CEO Barry Salzberg said. “When looking at their career goals, today's millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and its contribution to society as they are in its products and profits. These findings should be viewed as a valuable alarm to the business community, particularity in developed markets, that they need to change the way they engage millennial talent or risk being left behind."

The MACPA’s research has echoed these claims, and as a millennial myself, I'd also have to agree.

In the fall of 2012, after a little more than three years at a great firm, I had a light bulb moment that public accounting was just not for me. (You can read more of my story here.) After talking with management and giving notice, I walked back to my cube and wrote the following list of attributes I wanted in my next career.

Excuse the awful handwriting; it’s clearly not one of my strengths.


See that first one? But this wasn't just because I am a stereotypical millennial, which I'll admit I am at times. This list – the entire list – was made because I had been given the opportunity to learn about myself. My strengths and values, as identified and confirmed by several surveys, are all over this list.

For the millennial generation (and really all generations) and its employers, maybe it shouldn't just be about having flexibility, work-life balance, or even having a "sense of purpose.” Maybe it should be about the whole person, the cultural fit, the matching of strengths and values, because in the long run, that is what keeps employees engaged.

I am happy to report that I found a rewarding career that fits me and the items I was looking for. I keep that list at my desk to remind me every day how blessed I am to work for MACPA.

What would your list say? What do you think your employees’ lists would say? What are you doing to find out?

Here are two places you can start:


Rebekah Brown