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How to engage millennials

ignites europe, a financial times service | anna devine | 25 July 2017

PA’s Freneka Mumford, people and talent expert, is quoted in an article in Ignites Europe which looks at how the fund industry can engage better with millennials.

The article discusses how fund firms should make more of an effort with millennials to understand their aspirations and help to create a more innovative sector.

The article goes on to say that many fund firms have made little effort so far to accommodate millennials. Freneka explains that like other traditional sectors, asset management could do more to engage younger workers.

The younger generation wants to be more entrepreneurial however often seeks to apply this to ventures outside of work. Freneka says: “That entrepreneurial spirit, though, can be harnessed through giving them a sense of ownership.”

The article goes on to suggest that millennials have a greater sense of purpose than previous generations. Freneka explains that millennials remember the financial crisis and the negative impact the financial services sector had on society, “so young people are altruistic and want to make a difference in their work”.

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Flexibility is another important company attribute that the younger generation values. Freneka explains that millennials prefer to blur the lines between home and work, seeing it as an extension of who they are not just what they do.

She adds that it would be wrong to assume that a firm can retain a millennial as spending years working in one institution is a thing of the past.

Freneka says: “They’ll be keen to explore the full range of their capabilities. Encouraging sabbaticals and career moves and cultivating alumni networks will mean firms can retain access to this talent pool, who may well come back with some new experiences, networks and skills.”

The article goes on to look at ways to empower younger people within the organisation, including making sure they have the chance to change things and easier access to senior management.

While Freneka admits that accommodating the millennials’ different approach might seem like “hard work” and could even “unsettle your existing workforce”, she argues “the next generation can’t be ignored and the innovative thinking that they can bring will be critical in the success of your business.”

She concludes: “Incentivise them for long-term performance and show them how they can do the right thing and you’ll get the most out of them.”

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