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for experiential learning from expe-
rienced professionals. Encourage
your leaders to involve your younger
team members in as many experi-
ences as possible, giving them a
role to play within each scenario.
The role should be small at first
growing in level of responsibility
with each subsequent experience.
This type of hands-on learning is
one of the fastest ways for someone
to progress a skill, and it allows the
learners to have direct involvement
with your organization's leaders,
clients, or customers.
Empower your people to get
directly involved. Convergence
Coaching and INSIDE Public Ac-
counting partnered on a study and
subsequent report on the motiva-
tors and interests of young profes-
sionals in public accounting. One
major finding was that respondents
wanted more direct involvement not
only with clients, but with the deci-
sion-making and direction of their
firms. The experiential learning idea
mentioned previously allows for your
people to have direct involvement
with leaders, clients, customers, and
other stakeholders earlier on.
Employers can further appeal to this
interest by involving young profes-
sionals in strategic planning capaci-
ties. Invite your young professionals
to participate in leadership or brain-
storming meetings or sit on a rotat-
ing committee that contributes to the
planning activities. There are a vari-
ety of ways to include your up-and-
comers that you may not be taking
advantage of. Young professionals
are the future of your organization
not including their perspective and
unique insights in the planning for
the future could be detrimental.
Progressive Technology
Young professionals almost univer-
sally speak a second language called
"tech." While Millennials remem-
ber the smartphone takeover, Gen Z
won't have lived life without the inter-
net, WiFi, Bluetooth, and apps. These
young professionals won't work in an
environment that has slower internet
connectivity than their at-home WiFi.
It isn't a matter of entitlement nor in-
stant gratification, it's simply a matter
of efficiency and what they consider
to be a basic standard (like offering
employees access to paper and pens
might have been in the past). Technol-
ogy has become an enabler and young
professionals know how to leverage
it. They expect their workplace to
embrace a proactive and progressive
technology strategy.
Instant connectivity, speedy and por-
table (where possible) hardware, and
remote access are all must-haves
for efficient productivity. These are
also the same requirements for mak-
ing anytime, anywhere work possible,
which means there really aren't many
acceptable reasons for your organiza-
tion not having embraced some sort
of flex by now. Ensure that your tech-
nology strategy is at least in the "early
majority" category of change adoption,
and definitely not in "lagging."
Young professionals are also frustrat-
ed by leaders and other experienced
colleagues who not only choose not
to embrace new technology chang-
es, but are actively repelling them.
Young professionals are typing "SMH"
[Editor's note: That's "shaking my
head" for those of you who need a
translation!] at the very thought of this
behavior being allowed to persist.
Don't allow this generational wedge
to grow deeper instead, marry these
disparate groups in future technologi-
cal initiatives.
Empower and leverage your young
professionals by assigning them re-
search and implementation projects
for new technology solutions. Choose
your most tech savvy-group to drive
this and have them interface with your
more tech-avoidant group for feed-
back and assistance in envisioning
the implementation phase that your
younger CPAs may not be as experi-
enced in.
Involving your "laggards" in the plan-
ning phase encourages them to bet-
ter adopt the new technology. It also
teaches your young professionals
about leading change in an organi-
zation and how to appeal to different
work, learning, and communication
styles.
A progressive technology strategy is
important to today's workforce, but
it's also important to today's clients
(continued)
While Millennials remember
the smartphone takeover,
Gen Z won't have lived life
without the internet, WiFi,
Bluetooth, and apps.
22
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CTCPA Resources for New and Young Professionals (NYPs)
Join the NYP Group
www.ctcpas.org/nyp
Attend the NYP
Leadership Conference
www.ctcpas.org/conferences
Our NYP Group puts on a full slate of
professional development, volunteer,
and social activities. Put together a
team for our charity kickball tourna-
ment, get career development tips at
our next roundtable breakfast meet-
ing, or network at our flagship event,
the Mingling & Merriment New and
Young Professionals Holiday Party.
Get details on page 10.
This popular CTCPA conference ad-
dresses the skills that new and young
professionals need to become suc-
cessful leaders in the accounting pro-
fession including networking, commu-
nication, and team building. It features
two breakout tracks, one for new pro-
fessionals and one for those with sev-
eral years of experience preparing for a
management role.