by Meredith Madsen, Michael Retter

Millennials: A Growing Force

Finding the right path to engage millennials is one of the hottest topics out there for current business leaders.

The good news? Point B knows the way. The firm recently was named one of the top five companies for millennials to work for in the nation by Fortune magazine, and has a first-hand view into the minds of these future leaders.

Recently, Point B sat down with some of the best and brightest to answer several key questions the business community has about this growing group.

Michael Retter, Senior Associate

In general do millennial leaders ascribe to evolutionary or revolutionary change to address the problems confronting the world today?

Hmm… I’d say for the broader problems of the world, revolutionary change. Look at the technologies and services we use, as well as the companies we give our money to – most are pretty revolutionary or disruptive. But, from a pragmatic consulting standpoint – I think it depends (gasp! the consultant said “it depends!”) … but, it does. Those words are often defined differently at each client.

When looking for a new job what are your top considerations?

Looking for and taking a new job is a big decision, is a challenging process, and it can have a significant impact on your career and personal life. When I look back on the move I made 4+ years ago – these are my top 4 considerations in making a move:

Identification of what will truly motivate a switch. People leave for less travel, more travel, a specific industry, better hours, a bigger paycheck, a sense of community, different corporate values, you name it. I knew I needed to be realistic about what was most important to me at the time and in the years to come.

Get smart & leverage your network. It’s easy to become educated on firms and opportunities out there. But, nothing beats buying someone a coffee or a beer from a firm that may be of interest. Also, personal networks are invaluable in a search. I remember emailing my sister years ago with a list of 5 consulting firms I liked – she happened to know someone at Point B in Seattle (I lived in Chicago) – somehow I got connected for a cup of coffee and poof, 4 years have gone by!

Be self-aware. Probably the most important on my list. Here’s a real example that has always stuck with me … one of my former colleagues (also a close friend) was set on making a move from consulting to banking. As he started the process, he made 2 lists … skills he developed as a consultant and skills he needed to be a great analyst. He drew lines between the two lists and where he couldn’t connect directly – he found the right storyline or related skillset that would resonate in interviews and on the job. He looked prepared, realistic, humble and down-right smart. Don’t tell him I said that!

Trust your gut (and the people who care about you). It’s easy to give your friends advice but when it’s your own career – it feels much more complicated. I remember talking through the decision with my family, friends and even trusted clients. People that care want you to succeed and will help along the way – don’t be afraid to ask for a sounding board.

Meredith Madsen, Senior Associate

Are there key values or principles you expect from an organization? Is there a “meets minimum” in terms of values?

Honesty, transparancy, and support are important to me both personally and professionally. When these values are a focus within organizations, the environment and the culture thrive.

How do you like to learn new things (in the work context)?

I love learning from formal and informal mentors. My formal mentors know my strengths and weaknesses, provide me with feedback, and work with me to create development plans. This includes both on-the-job learning and formal training opportunities – to reach my goals. Informal mentoring is also important to my growth. I’m in an organization where fellow employees are always happy, and even encouraged, to provide their feedback and insight. This has been helpful to my development and allowed me to build great relationships along the way.

Mitch Krassin, Interim Marketing Specialist

Many pay for performance schemes rely on individuals competing for merit increases with fellow team members which leads to unequal treatment amongst employees and possible resentment within the team. With millennials desire to be treated equally on all levels, what is the strategy moving forward for businesses pertaining to merit increases that will help retain millennial employees?

There are best in class companies that offer total rewards based upon many factors:  performance incentive, flex time with associated variable base to accommodate differences work/life preferences.  Treat everyone the same is not a popular trend, instead, companies having different ways to incent and compensate employees of all generations (including millennials) based upon the level of responsibility they can and choose to take-on, the risk and level of investment they are able and willing to make to grow the business and the types of benefits they seek based upon the chapter of where they are in their life.