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Building Bridges, Not Gaps: Tailoring Employee Benefits to Diverse Generations

02/13/2024 Written by: AP Employee Benefits

There are currently four generations in today’s workforce, and employers are looking for balance as each generation voices its need for new benefits. With each generation that enters the workforce, so does a unique set of benefit requests that suit their lifestyles, aspirations, and shifting medical needs. Building a comprehensive benefits package that addresses the needs of every generation in your organization can be a tall task; however, by identifying the things that each group values the most, you can begin to craft a benefits program that resonates with each generation. From Baby Boomers to Generation Z, Millennials to Generation X, these groups are looking to their employers for unique benefits that fit their specific needs and lifestyles. Let's explore some ways that organizations are addressing these generational nuances.

Benefits for the Generations

Each generation in an organization's workforce values different benefits. Here are some examples of things that each generation may be looking for when it comes to benefits that complement their stages of life.

  • Baby Boomers: Baby Boomers still value traditional employer benefits such as retirement security and life insurance, but many are starting to see the value and need for benefits specific to their stage of life. Benefits such as caregiver support and programs designed to educate them on the importance of early diagnosis, regular vaccinations, and proper management of chronic illnesses can be of significant value for this group.
  • Generation X: Generation X has placed an increased importance on women's hormonal health, specifically around menopause. For many working women, this stage of hormonal health can have a significant impact on their daily work. Gen X recognizes the value of regular screenings to catch new diseases early, making incentive programs for completing age-related screenings especially attractive. This group places an increased importance on flexible scheduling benefits as many are juggling work, children, and other caregiving responsibilities. Additionally, the average Gen X worker has an average student loan balance of over $43,000, according to a study from DataPath, making tuition reimbursement and repayment programs especially valuable.
  • Millennials: Millennials may be one of the more vocal groups in an organization when it comes to expressing what they want out of their benefits. Reaching a crucial point in their careers, Millennials are looking for growth support and skill development opportunities. For traditional benefits, they have emphasized mental health and personalized care options that fit their schedules, including telemedicine and tele-mental health. In a recent article from Forbes, 62% of respondents emphasized the need for access to mental health resources. In their personal lives, this group is making large life decisions including whether or not to have children, making fertility benefits and childcare support programs an important note for employers to hit. A study conducted by GenForward and Next100 recently revealed that 87% of Millennials and Gen Z indicated at the cost of child-care costs impacts their decision to have children.
  • Generation Z: Gen Z has vast differences in priorities when it comes to their benefits in comparison to their generational counterparts. This group of employees values personalized lifestyle and wellness benefits, social and environmentally conscious benefits, and benefits that support their future financial goals. How benefits support their lifestyle and reflect their values is a key consideration when evaluating an employer, causing many organizations to implement initiatives such as volunteer PTO programs and incentives, green initiatives, and financial planning programs. According to a report from PeopleKeep, only 38% of Gen Z employees feel as though their benefits are worth their cost.

Tailoring Solutions

As organizations continue to evaluate their current benefit packages, many are also considering alternative ways to communicate their benefits, ensuring that each group is receiving the information in the method they prefer. This can include providing online enrollment platforms that send out regular reminders of benefits offered and sending out home mailers to ensure spouses are aware of the benefits available to them. Receiving feedback from your employees on the communications being sent can help your organization learn if the value of each benefit is being clearly explained and determine if the channels of distribution are reaching the intended audiences.

Beyond Benefits

Beyond benefits, there are many ways that employers can ensure they are connecting with their employees and understanding what their population needs. The culture of a workplace is becoming increasingly important as employees return to the office. Fostering a culture of appreciation, collaboration, and work-life balance demonstrates to your employees that you value them and their time. Building a community of cross-generational groups can help close the gaps in communication across the organization. Promoting collaboration between different generations can foster a greater sense of belonging and loyalty to a company, thus decreasing the costs of turnover. Some organizations are introducing mentorship programs and promoting internal mobility, as these opportunities promote connection and growth, empowering employees across generations to connect with others.

By understanding each generation's benefits wants and needs, organizations can begin to create unique offerings tailored to their specific population. Embracing and implementing these strategies can be a point of differentiation from an organization's competitors, helping to attract and retain top talent. If you are interested in evaluating your current benefit offerings, reach out to your local AssuredPartners team to start the conversation.

Need more insights? Your local AssuredPartners team can help.

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