Friedman Group

Is your benefits program multi-generational?

April 4, 2019

Did you know that millennials have become the nation’s largest living population? Millennials, also known as “Gen Y,” are projected to surpass 75 million this year.  In fact, more than 1 in 3 American workers is a millennial. That means millennials – those workers age 18-34 – have the largest share of the country’s workforce, and this number will only increase as more finish college and enter the workforce. 

That’s a big deal for employers, and here’s why.

Every generation has their own unique set of characteristics and expectations. Millennials are no different, which is why it’s important for employers to know more about this group and, more importantly, how to recruit them. 

So, let’s take a look at what matters most to millennials when choosing their benefits:

  • Choice and Variety - Millennials are accustomed to having access to what they want and when they want it, especially when it comes to information. They want choices, not a one size fits all approach. 
  • Customization and Control - Millennials expect benefits to be tailored to their needs. They also want control over how they spend their money. But, while giving them plenty of options puts them in the driver’s seat, too many options may paralyze them. Try to strike a healthy balance by considering a choice of plan designs within a product category. Perhaps offer everyone a basic plan that has buy-up options for those who want to customize their coverage.
  • True Simplicity - Employee benefits shouldn’t be complicated and communication is the key.  Millennials are looking for clear, easy-to-follow steps, which includes systems that are easy to use.  It will be to your advantage to work with your advisor or broker who embraces simplicity and offers varying enrollment and communication strategies.
  • Interaction and Collaboration - Peer networks play a huge role in the decision-making process for a millennial. Employers would be wise to offer ways their employees can interact and network to obtain information.  Blogs, for example, are an important way millennials build trust, gather information, and connect. 
  • Technology, Not Paper - The biggest difference between millennials and other generations is their use of technology – and their expectation that technology is also important to those they interact with. They trust technology and want to use tools that make benefits easier, such as apps and online portals. 

Millennials challenge employers to provide a benefits program that appeals to the unique needs of their generation. When this challenge is met through a combination of core benefits (such as medical, dental, and retirement) and voluntary benefits (such as accident, critical illness, and supplemental life insurance), employers find that they end up with a benefits program that appeals to the needs of the individual, regardless of the generation. How? By allowing employees to choose from a variety of benefits that can be customized to their specific needs.

Embracing some of these concepts in your organization’s recruitment, retention, and communication efforts, will help you become more appealing as an employer to all generations and will help you build a stronger connection with the powerful millennial generation.

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© 2019 The Friedman Group, Inc.