As the workforce evolves, so do the expectations of employees. While benefits have always been an important part of attracting and retaining employees, the types of benefits that are most important to employees vary by generation. In order to attract and retain the best talent, employers need to be aware of what each generation is looking for in employee benefits.
Generation Z (born in 1996 or later) is the most diverse generation yet. They are also digital natives who have grown up with technology at their fingertips. They are used to getting what they want, when they want it. When it comes to employee benefits, this generation is looking for convenience and customization. They want benefits that are easy to use and that can be tailored to their individual needs.
Some examples of benefits that would appeal to this generation include:
- Student loan repayment assistance
- Tuition reimbursement
- On-site childcare
- Flexible work hours
- Generous paid time off
Millennials (born 1981-1996) are often caricatured as entitled and narcissistic, but they are actually a highly motivated and engaged generation. They place a high value on work/life balance and are looking for employers who share their values. When it comes to employee benefits, this generation is looking for benefits that will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle and achieve work/life balance. Some examples of benefits that would appeal to this generation include:
Generation X (born 1965-1980) is the first generation of true digital natives. They are independent, resourceful, and self-sufficient. When it comes to employee benefits, this generation is looking for practicality and affordability. Some examples of benefits that would appeal to this generation include:
- 401(k) matching programs
- Health benefits with multiple coverage options
- Job flexibility
The Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are the oldest members of the workforce. They are nearing retirement age but many are choosing to stay in the workforce longer than previous generations. When it comes to employee benefits, this generation is looking for stability and security. Some examples of benefits that would appeal to this generation include:
- Retirement planning assistance
- Long-term care insurance
- Prescription drug coverage
Offering Benefits for All
As you can see, each generation has different priorities when it comes to employee benefits. By offering a mix of traditional and innovative benefits, employers can appeal to workers of all ages and better position themselves as an employer of choice. When deciding what’s important for employees, think about their life stage or generation when making decisions. If you are uncertain what benefits your employees will value, don’t be afraid to ask them.