Those of you who are regular blog readers likely know by now that one of my favorite topics in stock plans is that of participant communications. I enjoy the dynamics of communication, and exploring the many modes, practices and mediums available. One thing that has long been a consideration in any communications strategy is the art of understanding the audience, including generational differences, and crafting a message that will resonate - both in its delivery method and content.
Multiple resources widely report that the Millennial generation now is the largest living generation in the United States, outnumbering baby boomers. It's then not hard to fathom the reality that, in many companies, the Millennial component of the workforce may be larger than any other group. In today's blog, using a recent blog published by myStockOptions.com ("Millennials and Stock Compensation: How to Tailor Stock Plan Eduacation For the Instagram Generation") as a reference, we'll explore the communication needs of this large generation of Millennials relative to your stock plan.
Who Are Millennials?
I have to admit, sometimes it's hard to keep track of all the generational nicknames out there. I actually had to do some Googling myself to sort through some of them. So who are Millennials? While dates of generations are not exact, most resources believe the Millennial (also known as Gen Y) population includes those born in the early 1980s until the late 1990s to 2000 time frame.
A Key Question
The myStockOptions.com blog reports that up to 50% of workforce employees may fall into the Millennial generation category. With such a sizeable population coming from a single generation, it warrants more understanding of the needs and nuances of these folks in the workplace, and of course, relevant to our industry, their stock plans. myStockOptions.com poses a key question:
"As we all know, stock plans work well to attract and retain talent only if participants understand their grants, making education and communications essential. Given the differences between the Millennial mindset and that of the Baby Boomers and Generation Xers who entered the workforce before them, how should stock plan education adjust to ensure that Millennials are getting its messages?"
We Have Answers
In their blog, myStockOptions.com explored tactics used by three companies as case study examples, with interesting findings: Akamai, AppDynamics, and Google. Not surprisingly, all three companies have workforces comprised of close to 50% Millennials (54% for Akamai and Google, 47% for AppDynamics). Here are some of the tips cited by one or more of the companies to implement when crafting communications for this generation:
Additionally, myStockOptions.com editor-in-chief, Bruce Brumberg, shared some additional tips, including:
Certainly there is much to consider in crafting communications to a multi-generational workforce. With many baby boomers still in the workforce, Gen X'ers sandwiched in the middle, and Millennials continuing to increase in workforce population demographics, this makes for a workplace filled with different needs, approaches, and strategies. It's time to ensure your participant communications address the unique needs of all workforce generations.