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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Strategies for Helping Millennials Thrive in the Workplace

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Don’t look now, but the millennials (also known as Generation Y) will soon be making their mark in the workplace. This generation, born between 1980 and 2000, is coming of age and is projected to make up 50% of the workforce by 2020.1

For the people who manage them in the workplace—typically baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) or generation X-ers (born between 1965 and 1979)—millennials can present new challenges. If you have ever found yourself starting a sentence with the phrase “kids today just don’t” or “young people today just don’t” then it’s likely that you are among those who are facing these challenges.

“The common frustration I have heard about younger millennials is what senior people in the workplace call the “work ethic,” says Cam Marston, the founder of Generational Insights in Mobile, Ala., and author of The Gen-Savvy Financial Advisor. “Some millennials tend to place a high value on work-life balance, so they are generally more likely to come to work on time and leave on time.”

Millennials’ work habits, communications style, and expectations sometimes clash with those who entered the financial services industry decades ago, says Caleb Brown, a partner at New Planner Recruiting, LLC in Athens, GA. When the oldest baby boomers first began their careers in the mid-1960s, many managers adopted a military management style that in some cases was modeled on their own experience in World War II. New employees were expected to come in early, stay late, toe the line and not ask questions. While that approach may have worked 50 years ago, Brown says this type of authoritative approach is unlikely to resonate with most young employees today.

“The first thing that firm owners need to do is take some of what they learned from how their first manager treated them when they started their careers and throw that out the window,” says Brown. He says that advisors may want to consider focusing instead on creating a collaborative environment where millennials will feel like they are part of a team and understand the importance of their role on the team.

Today, 43 percent of financial advisors are age 55 or older and only 12 percent are under the age of 33.2 Therefore, many advisory firms will need to attract younger employees who can help them build a bridge to their clients’ adult children and other young investors who are starting to build wealth. In fact, the future of many advisory firms may depend on employees from the millennial generation.

With this challenge in mind, we spoke with third-party recruiters, human resources professionals, and researchers to learn more about millennials’ unique traits and potential ways to motivate them. Continue to full article.

— See also:


1 Based on research by Cerulli Associates. 

2 Millennials Survey: “Millennials at work: Reshaping the workplace”, PwC,



For Investment Professional use only. Not for distribution to the public as sales material in any form.

The information contained herein is as of the date of its publication is subject to change, and general in nature. Such information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered advice. Fidelity does not provide advice of any kind. This information is not individualized and is not intended to serve as the primary or sole basis for your decisions as there may be other factors you should consider.

Cam Marston, Caleb Brown, and Shannon O’Toole Kuhlman are independent speakers, unaffiliated with Fidelity Investments, and do not make representations on behalf of Fidelity. Their input herein does not suggest a recommendation or endorsement by Fidelity. The information provided is subject to change. There is no form of legal partnership, agency, affiliation, or similar relationship between Cam Marston, Caleb Brown, and Shannon O’Toole Kuhlman and Fidelity Investments, nor is such a relationship created or implied by the information herein.

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