The Truth About Gen Y

by. Amanda Thomas McMeans

In June, I co-facilitated a session for HR executives from across the country about engagement of Gen Y workers in the workplace.  While the overall goal of the session was to discuss ways to get Gen Y members to contribute more to their retirement plans, the conversation and statistics clearly uncovered a lack of engagement of Gen Y because of assumptions being made about this demographic.

After a brief exercise to gauge the attendees’ initial perceptions of Gen Y workers, we ended up with the following synopsis of them:

“They are tech savvy, terrible team players, lazy, and entirely disloyal to employers.” 

Ouch.  But then we had some great discussions about those perceptions.

It is because of these perceptions that credit unions – and employers in general – are not investing time and resources into getting younger employees to contribute to their retirement plans.  But this is symptomatic of a larger problem.

Based on pre-workshop surveys of both the panelists and members of the Cooperative Trust, Gen Y workers are planning to stay at their current employer three times as long as what the panelists assumed – a disparity of almost 10 years.  Not only is it causing Gen Y to neglect contributing to their retirement plans, but it is because of these perceptions that Gen Y workers are not being engaged in their jobs and companies.

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