With four to five generations active in the workforce, it can be difficult for employers to offer benefits satisfying each generation’s needs. Around 76% of individuals aged 65-69 in the United States are postponing retirement and continuing to work. At the same time, Generation Z continues to grow. It’s important that employers know what generations make up their organization and what benefits they desire.
While every individual is different, there are benefit trends that tend to correspond with age.
The Silent Generation, born between 1928 and 1945, makes up the eldest working generation. These employees expect core benefits, retirement benefits, and employee recognition programs. As Traditionalists, they value loyalty and prefer working typical hours.
The Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, desire caregiving benefits, flexible work schedules, solid health care plans, retirement benefits, and training opportunities. These individuals highly regard their careers and desire feedback to improve their work performance.
Generation X, born 1965 through 1980, wants to be able to work remotely, have flexible schedules, and have caregiving benefits. Generations X strives for a healthy work-life balance.
Millennials, born 1981 through 1996, value flexible scheduling, remote work, student loan repayment programs, and career growth opportunities. This generation prefers a technologically savvy work environment.
Generation Z, born between 1997 and 2012, also wants flexible scheduling, remote work, and employee assistance program benefits. This generation advocates for the importance of mental health.
Just as generations have different needs, they also have various preferred methods of communicating benefits offerings. Baby boomers and the Silent Generation generally prefer to have physical sources like flyers and booklets. Meanwhile, Millennials and Generation Z tend to prefer digital materials. Therefore, it’s important for employers to have a multichannel approach to make sure no one is left uninformed.
If enrollment occurs online, employers must determine a way to ensure all employees feel comfortable and confident making their elections. Employers can sit down with employees or create detailed step-by-step directions to support their workers.
As the workforce continues to grow, it’s important to offer a variety of benefits that fit the needs of multiple generations.