Saturday, October 18, 2014

How PWC Engages Millennials

Bob Moritz, the U.S. Chairman of PWC, has written an article for Harvard Business Review regarding his firm's efforts to attract, engage, and retain millennials.  Moritz and his firm collaborated with researchers from USC and LBS to understand key generational differences.  From that work, PWC began to develop initiatives to foster higher levels of engagement and retention among millennials.  They have tracked the effectiveness of various efforts.  Moritz cites four major areas of emphasis:

  1. Give them voice. Millennials want to have input regarding the future direction of the organization.  Therefore, PWC gave them voice in several powerful ways.  They asked millennials to offer ideas regarding the most effective methods for talent development in the firm.  In addition, they asked people for suggestions regarding the next $100 million opportunity for PWC.  More than 70% of the employees offered suggestions.  
  2. Provide flexible career paths.   Millennials do not want to stay in the same role for a lengthy period of time.  They want to shift positions and roles, try new things, and embrace different opportunities.  Moreover, they want greater flexibility in their careers.  PWC has created several programs that enable talented employees to take time off or to work part-time for the firm while pursuing other opportunities (such as graduate school). 
  3. Recognize them often and in multiple ways.  Millennials want to be recognized, and that does not mean only monetary awards.  PWC implemented more frequent recognition, and they began to offer a host of non-monetary rewards.   For instance, PWC created a sabbatical program as a reward for millennials who perform well and stay at the firm for a certain period of time.
  4. Give them a chance to give back.  Millennials want to make a broader impact, and they want to work for a firm that has that same aspiration.  PWC found that employees who participate in a corporate responsibility initiative tend to stay at the firm for a longer period of time.  For example, participants in one program to enhance students' financial literacy tended to exhibit much less turnover than those who did not participate (only 8% of participants had left PWC a year later, while 16% of non-participants had left the firm). 

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