Many businesses are reworking their benefits offerings to appeal to millennials and Generation Z. The idea holds merit considering the vast majority of individuals entering the workforce come from these two generations. However, ignoring the existing workforce’s needs can spell disaster for businesses. What appeals to a millennial may seem trivial to a baby boomer or a Gen Xer.
This creates quite the conundrum for businesses. Younger generations are quicker to move on to greener pastures, costing companies $7-$14 thousand to replace them. However, older generations house immeasurable knowledge that businesses cannot afford to lose. That is why companies need to meet the diverse needs of every generation.
Understanding Each Generation’s Needs
There are some common benefits that every generation wants and expects from their employer. Some of the most popular include health insurance, vision and dental options, retirement planning, vacation time, wellness programs and flexible work hours. However, how each generation approaches these benefits differs. What one generation considers a fantastic wellness program may be worthless to another. The following are several tips to help businesses deliver benefits that appeal to all workers.
- Offer benefits that encompass all of the generations. Continuing with the employee wellness example above, it is simple for companies to avoid such pitfalls. While almost all employees wish to better themselves in some way (i.e. lose weight, quit smoking, etc.), not every generation wants the same program. Before implementing wellness programs at random, companies should ask their employees what types of programs they would enjoy most. Once an employer has a general idea of what his or her staff wants, he or she can develop a multifaceted benefits package that offers something for everybody.
- Remain cognizant of each generation’s lifestyle needs. Many millennials value the ability to work from home or having flexible start times to their workday. While most generations approve of this flexibility, the reasons why they need it are vastly different. Millennials and Generation Z staff members enjoy working from the comfort of their own home. Some are still in college and prefer an earlier or later start time to accommodate their classes.Younger baby boomers are caught in between caring for their children and their aging parents. They need flexible start times to see their kids off to school and the ability to work from home if an ailing parent requires them to be nearby in case of emergencies. Businesses need to be aware of their employees’ needs and build their benefits package accordingly. Offering flexible start times, but not the ability to work from home, can alienate staff and cause them to search for a job that offers a better work-life balance.
- Encourage collaboration among the generations. A large age gap between employees can be divisive in the workplace. By encouraging older staff members to team up with a younger individual, each employee can benefit. Gen Xers and baby boomers possess a wealth of knowledge they can share with the younger generations. Millennials and Generation Z employees can help their more experienced colleagues learn how to use social media more effectively or how to utilize new technologies.
Employee benefits are not a stagnant entity. Businesses that neglect to update their benefits packages to meet their employees’ needs run the risk of rising turnover rates and declining morale. The Reilly Group can help your company navigate the diverse needs of employees of all ages and backgrounds. To learn more, contact us today.