The Future of Work – Part 1: Millennials and Multi-Generational Workplaces

Published: Apr 30 | 2019
Modified: May 07 | 2019

We’ve said it before (and let’s be honest, we’ve probably said it more than once): “one-size-fits-all” benefits solutions aren’t cutting it anymore. Today’s workforce is the most diverse we’ve ever seen, with five different generations working together, all with different wants and needs, values, and even working and management styles.

How can employers possibly provide a benefits plan that meets the varying needs of all of these different groups of people without costing a small fortune?

Let’s explore that, shall we?

The 5 Generations: Millennials, Baby Boomers and More

Before we discuss how to combat the challenge of a benefits plan for all, we must first take a look at the five different generations in the workforce and what makes them unique.

Mutli-Generational Summary | Millennials | Benefits by Design

Next, let’s take a look at what each of these folks values when it comes to their benefits plan:

Multi-Generational Spectrum | Millennials | Benefits by Design

 So with all of those differences in mind – let’s talk about benefits.

Knowing Your Benefits Philosophy

Your benefits philosophy is the “why” behind your benefits plan. Many employers want to offer benefits to keep their employees happy and healthy (which is a great “why”), but there are sometimes other questions to ask yourself (see #3 below).

If you’re not sure on your “why”, do us a favour and give these three things a try:

#1. Communicate with your employees.

Involve your employees by asking them what they want in a benefits plan. Their answers will help you hone in on what the focus of your benefits plan should be.

#2. Consider the demographics of your workforce.

Take a look at the people who work at your company – if they’re mostly Millennials, you’re likely looking at providing more flexible options with a focus on professional development. If they’re mostly Baby Boomers or Gen X, you may want to look at more traditional solutions.

Note: Demographics are an important factor, but it’s even more essential to involve your employees and not make assumptions about coverage (that’s why it’s #1!)

#3. Ask yourself the right questions.

Do you want to increase employee retention or attract top talent? Is employee choice and flexibility a consideration in your choice of benefits plan? Is the prevention of unhealthy behaviours, such as smoking or poor diet and nutrition, a factor? Depending on the answers, certain benefits solutions will meet those needs better than others.

Knowing your benefits philosophy is an important step in selecting a benefit plan that will work best for your workplace, but there’s more to discuss. We’ll be expanding on this topic next week and doing a deeper dive into specific benefits solutions that can meet the needs of diverse workforces.

Learn more about benefits solutions to meet generations' needs in The Future of Work - Part 2!

Learn More