How responsive is your business to changes in market trends? Are you effectively keeping pace with changes in technology, lifestyles, fashions, taste, and modes of communication? Or have you been blind-sided by changes you didn’t see coming? Given the speed at which changes come in our digital world, it’s easy to get left behind. So, before you become the guy selling buggy whips at the Indianapolis 500, you need to adopt a strategy that keeps your business nimble. But where can you go for guidance, advice and even inspiration? Would it surprise you if we said, “Your youngest and least experienced employees?”
Yes, what we’re suggesting is that you turn to your Millennial employees, youngsters born between 1981 and 1996, and the even those belonging to Generation Z who are only now entering the workforce. Though much maligned for being entitled, disinterested, and unwilling to start at the bottom, Millennials are often idealistic and passionate with projects they “can own.” They also have their fingers, or should we say digits, on the pulse of the digital age. For many small to mid-sized companies, these workers are an untapped resource whose input could spur innovation and growth.
One strategy that companies have used to good effect is to form a shadow board. The term may be more mysterious, even occult, than necessary. But it refers to a committee, like a Board of Directors, that operates quietly “in the shadows,” making recommendations to upper management. If your company is running on the conventional wisdom of older veterans, whose experience, though sound, has come from a decades past, you might not be as finely attuned as you need to be to the latest demographic-driven developments in hiring, product or service development, technology, and marketing. You could easily find yourself in the unwinnable situation of “fighting the last war.”
Imagine the synergy your company might create as your Board listens to and gains insights from your young employees, while nurturing and mentoring them. Your veterans can pass on practical lessons on leadership, corporate governance, professional ethics and fiduciary duty, while the next generation, perfectly comfortable with market “disruption”, can opine about work-life balance, mission-driven business, and micro-targeted marketing. This cross-articulation can energize your veterans and keep your youngsters engaged. Importantly, you’ll be presented with innovative ideas you can safely test drive before making a firm commitment of company resources.
The result can also be an improved corporate culture, with greater devotion, productivity and loyalty. Millennials are notorious for “job-hopping,” as they search for a position that not only pays the bills but gives their careers greater meaning. Serving on a shadow board can provide a sense of belonging and higher purpose that keeps your talented millennial workers on board. As more Baby Boomers retire, a demographic shift is happening throughout the country, and the majority of companies will soon be under millennial management. Nurturing that talent can serve your company now and in the decades to come.
Contact Breon & Associates in Harrisburg
At Breon & Associates, we are not only skilled CPAs; we’re also experts in the development of ethical corporate culture. To learn how you can improve company’s culture making it more positive and productive, contact us today. With offices in Harrisburg and North Central PA, Breon & Associates provides business, accounting and tax services throughout Pennsylvania. Call us at 1-888-516-8476 or 717-273-8626, or contact one of our offices online to schedule an online consultation or an online training event.
415 Market Street, Suite #205
Harrisburg, PA 17101
North Central PA Office:
86 Municipal Drive
Avis, PA 17721-8941
Camp Hill Office:
3461 Market Street, Ste 101
Camp Hill, PA 17011