By 2020, it is estimated that millennials will represent 50 percent of the global workforce. Already in the United States, one-third of the workforce is millennials, and many are in leadership positions, by either starting a business, receiving a promotion or switching jobs.
But what are the challenges when you are a millennial leading a team of millennials?
inDinero CEO Jessica Mah, age 25, was the guest speaker for a webinar hosted by YPO’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Network. Mah, a member of Young Presidents’ Organization since 2014, shared insight on innovating in a slow-moving industry and addressed a range of issues from managing a younger workforce to the challenges of a remote workforce.
“Many of the people who work here used to run their own small business but want to be part of something bigger,” she says. “A lot are in their 20s and this is their second or third job out of college.”
Mah, who is younger than many on her team, finds that although they require extra autonomy they also need guidance, so how do you find that balance?
Here are three things that have worked well at inDinero:
- Hiring entrepreneurial people. “They already are self-starters, motivated and driven, which are difficult skills to teach others.”
- Team members are given autonomy. “We’ve gone so far as instituting our own boss-free organization called ‘Entreocracy.’ By doing so we have eliminated the number one cause of employee dissatisfaction—not getting along with your boss.”
- Our teams elect moderators for weekly family meetings. “Our moderated, weekly family meetings allow everyone in the company, new and veteran, the ability to solve the biggest problems in the company.”
Mah also reflected on her entrepreneurial journey building inDinero, a small business owner’s best friend that takes care of the entire back office – accounting, taxes and payroll with a full service staff. Since launching the company in 2009, she and business partner Andy Su have experienced the ups-and-downs of disrupting long-standing accounting practices and tools to create a new business.
“I knew the accounting world had huge potential for change, but one thing I didn’t fully appreciate is how comprehensive an offering we needed,” says Mah. “We started off as a ‘Mint.com for business,’ but after crashing that version, realized customers wanted a full-service team so we decided to take accounting firms head-on.”
In order to right the ship, Mah went directly to her small, entrepreneurial business owners, paying visits to their offices and sitting down with them to understand their challenges. “Conversation after conversation it became clear that small business owners wanted the entire back office taken care of so they could focus on their core business.”
After an epic and successful pivot, the company is now thriving. “We went from near bankruptcy to a company with 150 employees raising US$10 million from investors,” says Mah.