It is nearly impossible to talk about the Millennial generation without noting the speed at which they navigate their lives. They seem to text faster than most people can talk. Since early childhood, most of them have been able to access information, entertainment, and other people at the push of a button. How will the workplace handle the speed at which Millennials expect to interact?
Lurie Besikof Lapidus & Company (LBL) challenges the stereotype of the ploddingly methodical accounting firm. True, accountants must follow lengthy documentation procedures to make sure everything is in order for clients. What seemed unnecessary to the firm’s Millennial employees—and was driving them crazy!—was having to use the same wordy phrasings over and over again to request and process all that documentation.
The Minneapolis firm decided it could be flexible and make a change. Taking a cue from texting, LBL created an abbreviated code to replace some of its heavily used terminology. Combined with instant messaging technology, it allows staff to quickly reference what needs doing. While the language might not be as catchy as LOL or TTYL, Lurie Besikof Lapidus has coined some clever terms such as NFTY (not for this year), and SALY (same as last year).
Similarly, LBL created a shortcut to help Millennials draw on the firm’s collective knowledge and expertise. The “LBLWiki” is available via the firm’s intranet, allowing staff to quickly look up institutional and procedural information and to share information specific to their departments.
Beth Kieffer Leonard, the firm’s managing partner, says, “The wiki has revolutionized the way we are able to transfer knowledge from senior, experienced partners to younger staff. The ability to accelerate the transfer of knowledge addresses both the need for speed of the Millennials and our client-service philosophy.”