It seems like millennials tend to get a bad rep in the media. Every few days a new article appears claiming that millennials have single-handedly killed an entire industry; whether that’s casual dining restaurants, beer, paper napkins, bar soap or even the American dream. Lets get real though, no one generation “kills” an industry. This is business, and items come in and out of use. If you can’t keep up with the needs of your consumers, you’ll die. You have to be versatile to stay relevant. With all of this hype, however, around millennials “killing” industries and “disrupting” workplaces, it’s no wonder that older generations are hesitant to welcome them with open arms into their industry and workplace.
What we need to remember, however, is that millennials will eventually take over and they need to be prepared to do so. This is true in the credit industry, as well. Baby Boomers need to be ready to train and accept millennials in order to ensure they will be ready to eventually take over the industry. To do this, Baby Boomers also have to be willing to accept and embrace some of their cultural differences. Millennials are adapting to what the future workplace will look like, as we are now consuming four times the amount of information than the average person in 1986 was. It’s important to understand why millennials do what they do and how Baby Boomers can help them be prepared to be the next leaders of the credit industry.
Millennials have a much different approach to workplace, culture-wise, than the Baby Boomers. There’s no such thing as “casual Friday’s”, as millennials want to come to work every day casually. Working remotely is important to them, but that doesn’t mean they’re lazy. They aren’t sitting at home eating ice cream on the couch when they should be working, they’re actually getting more work done than they might have in the office. In fact, studies show that millennials who are offered the opportunity to work from home three days a week are even more engaged with their work than if they are sitting in that cubicle in the office. Millennials value a good work/life balance, so in order to find the cream of the crop among younger credit professionals, make sure your workplace offers these types of benefits for their employees.
Millennials aren’t interested in just laying under the radar in the workplace. They are continual looking for more information on how they can improve. Not only is this beneficial for them, but for your company, as well. This helps to keep you up to date on the latest credit practices and can help you improve on your collections process. Offer continuing education courses, allow them to go to educational conferences and help them improve by imparting your earned knowledge over the years. If your organization doesn’t have the funds to be sending employees out to conferences, that’s okay. It can be as simple as having your manager sit down with them once a month to go over their performance and giving them positive feedback on where they have done well and how they can improve.
One really common stereotype of millennials is they are completely unproductive because they are constantly checking their phones and on social media sites. However, this is completely untrue and studies actually show that older generations spend more time on their phones than the younger generations. Millennials grew up using technology from the get-go and companies can actually use this to their advantage. With millennials being more tech-savvy, it is easier to implement automated credit and collections solutions that will help your department become more efficient. Allow them to take the lead on these projects and you’ll likely be up and running in no time, they’ll also love the responsibility of heading up such an important task.