Generation “Us”

This year, let’s celebrate how we’re alike as well as how we’re different.

Puzzled by Gen Y? Well, now there’s this new crowd on deck Generation Z that’s about to enter the workforce and make some very meaningful changes.

In August, the Huffington Post reported on how this new generation will build on the strengths of my Generation Y, but without our naivet’s and shortcomings. Gen Z is composed of individuals who have lived most of their lives in recession and war, among other struggles. Personally, I believe hard times build hardy people, which bodes well for Gen Z’s ultimate potential.

As Gen Y begins having kids of their own, there’s also the lingering question of the impending Generation Alpha, a group whose story has only just begun. Those VHS movies I loved watching while growing up? Well, they might as well be phonographs or cave drawings to these kids. Even DVDs will be an entirely foreign concept for a generation raised on streaming media.

In the business world, such demographic shakeups are both exciting and confusing. And regardless of which one you think is more true, they also require new analysis and interpretation of business models to stay ahead of market demands.

In support of those efforts, I’ve selected several of my favorite articles on attracting, serving, and even employing Gen Y individuals. As you read them, think about how these strategies will need to evolve for the next generation.

8. 3 Ways To Put Millennials Behind The Wheel
This group will soon exceed Gen X in auto-buying activity. Getting a piece of that action will require credit unions to start using indicators that encompass more than the credit score and offer benefits such as rate discounts and educational resources.

7. Bulls And Bears Abound, But Gen Y Is Another Story
More than half of Gen Y say they have no interest ininvesting, but new products as well as new positioning including things like emphasizing brands over the companies that own them can help change that sentiment.

6. How A Do-Good Campaign Attracted Young Members
If you want to reach a generation that’s driven by values, show them you have similar interests and priorities. See how one credit union sounded the do-gooder call and gained both new members and community allegiance.

5. How To Get A Foot In The Schoolroom Door
Thinking about opening a student-run, school- or university-based branch? Start by examining tips and best practices from these two organizations, which boast nearly 60 such locations between them.

4. If You Think Your Youth Campaign Is Hip, It Probably Isn’t
When brainstorming any new product or service, it makes sense to start at the source. Here we examine the how and why of youth advisory boards at three thriving credit unions.

3. Only Video Applicants Need Apply
Listerhill Credit Union wasn’t looking for ordinary employees for its branch at the University of North Alabama, so no ordinary recruitment process would do. See how video applications gave Gen Y job applicants a chance to shine and the credit union ready-made promotional material.

2.Stock The Pond With Young Credit Union Talent
From internships that emphasize real-world, upwardly applicable job skills to annual bonuses designed to help chisel away at student debt, tips from Filene’s Credit Union Career Corps will help you get tomorrow’s leaders in the door today.

1.An Internal Ladder To Leadership
Development and training options are crucial for career-minded young hires. Here, Educators Credit Union reveals the details of its application-only leadership program, which boasts an 80% retention rate and a more than 50% promotion rate among graduates.

There’s nothing new about generational change or our ability to adapt to it. For a change of pace this holiday, let’s try to focus not on our different upbringings, preferences, and ways of thinking but on the ways people of all generations are moving the world forward.

Start with the little things we can all agree on pizza is good, Croc shoes are ugly, Netflix is addictive and build from there. I think we’ll find we have a lot in common.

Thanks for reading, and from all of us here at Callahan & Associates, Happy Holidays!

December 22, 2014

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