The Millennial Workforce and Financial Literacy Programs
We have entered a new decade and a new generation of young adults are dominating the workforce. Millennials will soon make up 75 percent of the workforce, replacing Baby Boomers and overtaking Generation X numbers. Over the years, Millennials have put up with a lot of name-callings — they’ve been referred to as lazy, entitled, flaky, and many more derogatory monikers. But a Gallup report suggests that we should be focusing on what they call "the job-hopping generation”.
Employment retention is a major concern for employers nowadays. The cost of losing staff, and then having to recruit, hire, and train someone to fill an empty position is very high when you have a problem with retaining employees. All told, this turnover costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion per year. And according to the report, only 29 percent of Millennials feel engaged at work, and 60 percent of Millennials say they are open to a different job opportunity — 15 percentage points higher than the percentage of non-Millennial workers who say the same.
So in the interests of a company’s finances, and the bottom line, it might be smarter to view this generation as, instead of “flaky” and “indecisive” but rather to take a look at what is causing dissatisfaction in the workplace. Corporate culture is something that a lot of employers are now focusing on as a target for improvement. The "quit culture" of Millennials costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars, so taking time to improve their work experience and nurturing the leaders of tomorrow is essential when we consider the alternative. Offering a more collaborative and supportive culture could be the antidote.
Another area of focus for improvement is helping young adults with financial literacy, since the statistics show that financial literacy is not their strong point. A recent study showed that nearly 30 percent of Millennials are overdrawn on their bank accounts and when tested on basic financial concepts, only 24 percent demonstrated adequate knowledge.
Michael Norton, Senior Vice President of David Lerner Associates says, “While Millennials are better educated than their elders, more ethnically diverse, and more economically active, they do however face much greater difficulties — including economic uncertainty and burdensome student loans — than those who came before them. But their lack of practical knowledge in this area could become a major stumbling block to their economic wellbeing.’
In response to this, many workplaces are now implementing financial literacy programs for their employees. The theory is that when employees come to work and have financial problems at home, their minds are not on their jobs — they’re dwelling on financial stresses and distractions.
Helping raise workplace financial literacy makes sense so employees can make the most of their benefits packages, and so they can focus on their daily jobs instead of their money concerns. Their confidence gets a boost, which improves their decision-making capability and productivity as a whole. Workplace financial literacy programs require an investment of company resources and time, but the benefits are immense.
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