Nicholas Ammaturo, Head of Global Procurement, Corporate Services at Tapestry Inc., explored Millennials (those born roughly between 1981 and 1998) and their impact on the global workforce. In his keynote presentation at the 2017 Chief Financial Officer Leadership Forum in New York on November 14, "You Can't Woo Me with Your 401k: Millennials in the Workforce," Ammaturo offered insights into the Millennial workforce and provided tips to help finance leaders attract and retain top Millennial talent.
According to Ammaturo, many CFOs struggle with the acquisition and retention of Millennial talent. So those who understand the patterns and trends of the millennial workforce are better equipped to find, and retain, top Millennial talent.
"With Millennials, you can't put us all in a box," Ammaturo said. "But there are some [Millennial] trends."
Oftentimes, Millennials are viewed in a negative light. CFOs may perceive that generation as job-hoppers who are unwilling to stay with an organization for an extended period of time. Finance leaders who believe that Millennials lack experience and expertise may be more inclined to hire applicants of an older demographic.
"There is this negative connotation with Millennials that we're all over the place and that we're job-hopping. But that's not how it should be," Ammaturo stated. "[CFOs] should be very open [to Millennials]."
Today's CFOs must embrace the rapidly evolving workforce as well. Failure to do so could force finance leaders to fall behind the competition and miss out on opportunities to hire an assortment of Millennial talent.
"Transparency should be in your workforce and with your teams."
No longer are all employees expected to remain with an organization for many years. Instead, workers frequently prioritize flexibility and honesty, and CFOs must do the same to boost the likelihood of recruiting top talent.
CFOs must be willing to adapt to the Millennial workforce. By doing so, CFOs can work with Millennial talent and foster a collaborative, mutually beneficial partnership with Millennials.
"The mentality of the workforce today has changed. It's employment at will," Ammaturo noted. "Pensions are gone … and we're no longer investing long-term into people. And that's okay, but we need to recognize that change."
Moreover, a CFO must maintain visibility with a workforce. Maintaining open lines of communication helps CFOs engage Millennial talent and build trust and loyalty across a workforce.
"Transparency should be in your workforce and with your teams," Ammaturo indicated. "With two-way dialogue, there's a mutual respect with one another."
How a CFO approaches employee feedback may have far-flung effects on an organization's success.
"We all can't be the CEO, but if you can connect the dots … you can give people an idea about what they're doing and how it makes a difference in the organization."
If a CFO engages Millennial employees and requests feedback from them, he or she may be able to discover innovative ways to drive meaningful business improvements. Conversely, a CFO who fails to connect with Millennial workers risks alienating these employees – something that may make it tough for a CFO to contribute to an organization's success.
"Think about how you engage Millennials and gain feedback from them," Ammaturo said. "Understand what Millennials in your organization are looking for today."
Providing Millennials with the ability to perform meaningful work may prove to be essential.
Millennials generally are motivated by a desire to make a difference within an organization. This demographic often embraces new challenges and learning opportunities and wants to do everything possible to help organizations thrive.
"[Millennials] want to make an impact … and we are no longer a generation that wants to work on a line," Ammaturo noted. "We are looking to make an impact and understand what our role does for the organization."
Lastly, a CFO should constantly explore ways to connect with Millennial talent.
"We all can't be the CEO, but if you can connect the dots … you can give people an idea about what they're doing and how it makes a difference in the organization," Ammaturo said.