This month we were fortunate to welcome a small team of courageous high school kids for a week to help us with our work on improving financial literacy for younger people.
As we all know, increasing longevity is a challenge for our society as it is now for many around the world. It is likely that each new generation will have to take more responsibility for their retirement incomes than the one that came before.
Doing this well requires an element of financial literacy. It is a policy disgrace that in a world of increasing longevity and compulsory superannuation more has not yet been done to promote this skill set within the school system.
We set the kids the following challenge:
How can Heffron help younger Australians become more financially literate and engage them in planning for their retirements as early as they should?
They had roughly four days to:
- familiarise themselves with the current state of our domain and our company;
- investigate what work had already been done on the subject within Heffron and externally;
- Assess the effectiveness of that work;
- Develop a short list of novel solutions; and
- Present their recommendations to the entire business as part of our quarterly town hall
Quite a test.
It is a topical and relevant problem for young people to engage with. In addition, however, the work required in order to engage with the problem required collaboration, creative thinking, experimentation and problems solving – all vital skills in the modern workplace.
The way the team went about their business impressed everyone with whom they engaged. Their questions were shrewd and showed a great understanding of the problem.
The recommendations were well thought through and some of them were brilliantly creative. Their presentation to staff even finished off with their own composition – the Retirement Savings Rap.
Some of the ideas are useful and will be used in the company as part of its future work in this area. The whole experience of having such vibrant young people in the office for a week motivated us all and convinced us that the future of our country and communities is in very safe hands.