Get Ready! It’s the Newest and Biggest Generation in the Workplace, Primed to Make a Difference You Can’t (and Don’t Want To) Ignore. This series offers career advice for the Biggest Generation since The Baby Boom, by The Millennial Mentor.
By Robyn Tingley
Millennials are a powerhouse generation with enormous consumer spending power — $10 Trillion over the course of their lifetimes. Marketers everywhere are scrambling to tap into their wallets.
Interestingly, Millennials say they are not that concerned about money. In fact, they rate money behind several other priorities for work and life satisfaction. In a survey conducted by GlassSKY, Millennials were asked to rank specific priorities from ‘most’ to ‘least’ important in terms of what would help them live a better life. Managing stress topped the list. Financial understanding was rated as fifth most important, behind other factors like confidence, achieving goals, and physical fitness. Learning job-specific skills was ranked last. But when Millennials gather to discuss these rankings, what surfaces early on in the discussion is that money is a key contributor to the number one concern: stress.
What costs to consider when buying a car? Rent or buy a home? How quickly to pay off student debt and credit cards? What about early investing for the future? These fundamentals have been missed and it’s making our Millennials anxious.
How can employers help?
1. Make It a Workplace Priority – Recognize that if your new hires are stressed about money, that’s keeping them pre-occupied and distracted from doing their best on the job. Don’t assume they learned financial knowledge in school or from their parents. Make it a priority to help them personally with financial planning, as well as to help them understand how the cash flows within your organization. We’ll all thank you for it.
2. Identify Key Topics – Talk to the Millennials you know in a group setting. This generation is fantastic at collaboration and teamwork. Together, they will quickly identify the key topics that are keeping them awake at night. From there, you can develop a plan for guest speakers to help Millennials with their financial knowledge. Bonus – it will keep them engaged in the workplace and appreciative of their employer, which can improve retention, boost productivity, and limit your turnover costs.
3. Talk Openly & Frequently – Not everyone knows the language of money. Make it a regular topic at work so that concepts like cash flow, revenues and expenses are understood by everyone. Incorporate it as part of weekly team meetings, develop a specific goal for new hires to understand the basics of their department budget, or create a webinar on personal financial management.
4. Give Access to Experts & Respect Your Audience – Bring in experts to help Millennials understand their own choices around money. Make the environment comfortable and safe for asking questions. This means uncomplicated content with examples that are relevant to the decisions they are grappling with today.
Employers have a significant role to play in supporting new hires beyond just the skills of the job they were hired for. Helping the next generation win at life will help us all.
Robyn Tingley’s career has taken her around the world as an international executive in Human Resources and Communications. She is the founder of GlassSKY.org, an organization dedicated to workplace diversity, gender equality, and helping people succeed.
Other articles in the Series —
Millennial Envy — an introduction to this unique generation