January 24 2022

Connecting with younger workers during onboarding


First impressions count

For new employees, that first impression is a company’s onboarding process. Getting it right validates a new starter’s decision to join, getting it wrong risks the time and money involved in bringing the talent on board.

At Rest, we want to make sure our members have the best possible onboarding experience when it comes to their super. We recently interviewed a group of new members, primarily in the 18-20-year-old age bracket, to learn more about their experiences and expectations.

We think these insights are a useful reference point for employers when it comes to onboarding and learning and development programs, particularly for younger workers where engagement can be a challenge.

Here’s a snapshot of our findings…

Financial literacy of younger workers

Securing their first job is often a financial ‘rite of passage’ for young adults and an opportunity to become financially independent of their parents. With this freedom comes new financial responsibilities such as paying rent, buying a car or funding their study.

Given most young workers have limited cash flow, money management and budgeting are the topics they are most interested in. Our research showed they would like to learn more about:

  • How to manage their earnings
  • Good ways to save
  • How to make sure they don’t overspend
  • Ways to make their money work harder
  • How to save for a house

Expectations from employers during onboarding

Young workers will often turn to their employers for advice on super – particularly those employees in their first job or international students from countries where superannuation does not exist. At the very least, they would like to know:

  • The name of the fund they have joined
  • How super works and who pays it
  • How much the contributions are and how to see this on their pay slip
  • Where to find more information on their fund and the superannuation system

Rewards young workers care about

The preference is for simplicity and ease of use. Young workers generally want to claim rewards without having to sign up for anything or be hit with a minimum spend requirement.

Rather than the purchase of luxury items, the strong preference was being able to use rewards for everyday expenditures such as grocery shopping. The dollar value didn’t need to be high to be appealing – even $5 was seen as a big enough incentive.

Preferred style of communication

Young workers want simple language that is to the point and tells them what they need to do and why it is important. Videos feature strongly as a preferred communication medium – as long as they are short, engaging and informative. A young presenter who is relatable and talks at their level is preferred.

Interestingly, printed letters that arrive in the mail are seen as something unique in a digital world. Young adults will take notice provided they are reserved for important communications and not overused.

When it comes to their own research about finance, YouTube was the preferred search engine because young adults prefer video content for educational purposes. TikTok, Facebook and podcasts like ‘She’s on the money’ were also popular.


We hope you found these insights useful for your onboarding and learning and development programs. If you would like a more detailed version of the research findings, please fill out the form below and we will send the research to your email.


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The insights and findings contained in this article are based on research undertaken in April 2021 by Rest in partnership with research and insights company Kantar. The research interviewed 30 members from across Australia who had joined Rest in the preceding three months, the majority of whom were in the 18-20-year-old age group. This information is current as at August 2021. Neither Rest nor Kantor accepts any liability arising directly or indirectly from any use and/or reliance on the information contained in this article and disclaim all liability to the maximum extent permitted by law.

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information or deciding whether to acquire or hold a product, consider its appropriateness and the relevant PDS and Target Market Determination which are available at rest.com.au. Issued by Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Limited ABN 39 001 987 739, AFSL 240003 (Rest), trustee of Retail Employees Superannuation Trust ABN 62 653 671 394 (Fund).

The cost of providing financial services is included in the fees as disclosed in the relevant PDS. Rest and the Fund do not charge additional fees or obtain commissions for the advice provided. Rest employees are paid a salary and do not receive commissions. They may receive a performance related bonus that takes into account the financial services provided.  Super Investment Management Pty Limited, a wholly owned company of Rest, manages some of the Fund’s investments. Rest has no other relationships or associations with any related body corporate or product issuer that might reasonably be expected to influence Rest in providing financial services. For more information, contact us at rest.com.au/contact-us