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Those Darn Millennials

Jan 04, 2017
Financial Institutions

Because I am a financial statement auditor, my blogs tend to be accounting related, but for this blog, I have decided to step out of my comfort zone to talk about how people relate to each other.

Currently, a good number of senior leadership positions in financial institutions are still held by baby boomers. Some baby boomers are experiencing angst about turning over the reins to the next generation. This really comes as no surprise, since each generation tends to find fault with or have little faith in succeeding generations. How many times have we (me included) looked at the generation of people coming up in our organization and said something to the effect of, “Oh, it’s those darn millennials again!” or, “I just don’t understand this new generation.”

So humor me for a moment, and let’s go back through a time warp and think about the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers. Could you blame them for having reservations about the generation that brought us Woodstock, hippies, and sex, drugs, and rock and roll? I’m guessing they thought the world would never survive this generation. But amazingly it did, and not only did the world survive, I would say it prospered.

The reason I bring this up is that while it is important to understand the cultural differences among generations, I think it is also important to realize that each generation has strengths, and we need to have trust and step out of the way and let the new generation make their mark just as the previous generation did with us. I’m guessing this was just as difficult for the Greatest Generation to do when Baby Boomers were coming up, and it will be just as difficult for the Millennials to do when their time comes, as it is for us to do right now.

If your financial institution needs help with succession planning or other aspects of HR management, Wipfli has a team of experienced consultants delivering innovative and practical solutions.

A belated Happy New Year to all, and may 2017 bring all you hope for.

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