This past September, a few members of the GSG Financial team went to the ELFA Emerging Talent Advisory Council’s (ETAC) meet and greet. The session included a panel of veterans from the leasing industry representing different aspects of the business. The topic of conversation was how to communicate with millennials, and how to get the next generation interested in leasing. There was a representative from a bank, a small finance company, and a large finance company. The panel was very well versed in millennial relations, and how to communicate and relate to the successors of the financing industry.
Several companies have the same challenge of engaging the Millennial Generation in today’s workforce. In the leasing industry specifically, the same questions continue to emerge- “How do you retain Millennials in the industry?” and “How can we keep them happy and excited about the industry?”. Well, as a millennial the answer isn’t always easy. In order to keep the younger generation engaged, you have to keep them occupied and aiming for the next title or a higher promotion, millennials value growth. Retaining a millennial is no longer just having great benefits or a competitive salary, but keeping them engaged in the profession they are in and providing the opportunity to constantly learn.
As our CEO, Andrew Bender, mentions in the latest issue of the ELFA Magazine, GSG has an open floor plan. Companies are increasingly moving away from a closed-off, cubicle filled workplace. An open floor plan reinforces the open door policy where questions and open discussions are welcomed. I personally take advantage of this by listening to all of the questions being asked in the office, even if they are not relevant to my day-to-day. Millennials learn from engaged learning, and having an open floor plan without cubicles helps with that process. I learn so much more by listening to the conversations in the room than I had by sitting in a conference room for training, away from the action.
At GSG Financial we have created a program that keeps the millennial engaged, while also giving them something to work for, and the opportunity to find their niche. The Leadership Training Program (LTP) highlights different aspects of the company and teaches all parts of the industry, specifically GSG's role within the industry. Then the LTP takes the candidate through the leasing process. This is where the trainee learns about credit, our sales strategy and the CRM system, and finally is taken through the documentation and billing process.
The candidate then, after the training program has been completed, finds their niche within the company; this process can take up to a year. Within that year the candidate is continuing to learn new tasks, and is encouraged to explore and find what they enjoy most about their job, the company, and the industry. I personally found my niche in the operations/sales part of the process. I found that I enjoy speaking with people on the phone while creating strong relationships with vendors and customers. I enjoy waking up every day and coming to work because I always learn something new.
Millennials are a special generation, we grew up with smart phones, laptops, and have seen the transition from VHS to live streaming videos. Keeping us engaged at the tasks at hand and teaching something new is key to growing the next generation of leasing.
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