August 17, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – For Generation Y employees, honest and practical education, social media communications and proper incentives will result in an increase in retirement plan participation.
If sponsors understand how Gen Y operates, they can better engage this group of employees, said Farnoosh Torabi, author and Gen Y money coach, during MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division’s first PlanSmart online seminar for plan sponsors, "Who Is Gen Y and Why It’s Important to Know." She describes Gen Y, those born between the late 1970s and the 1990s, as having a strong sense of entitlement, being technology savvy and desiring to see outcomes right away.
They have also been through the financial crisis and saw the tech bubble burst, and many are graduating with debt and no jobs, so they are aware of the value of being financially secure. However, Torabi contends, the road map for financial security is lacking for Gen Y.
One of best strategies for providing honest and practical education is to establish a mentor program, according to Torabi. HR may inform you and give you all pamphlets and resources, but having a resource in the company who is a few years ahead to encourage you to save and talk about what they wish they had done differently is more relatable, she said. Volunteers who have been participating in the retirement plan and can talk about what their account is doing can help the younger workforce see it and believe it. Torabi pointed out this is something free that every company can provide. Sponsors may want to offer incentives for mentoring, but many people just want to help.