How to Elect Group Benefits for a Multigenerational Workplace

Three Employees Work Together

The workforce of 2022 spans seven decades and five generations. While each employee comes to work with unique needs, each generation also carries expectations for the roles that their job, employer, and employee benefits play in their lives. Here’s a breakdown of group benefits that best suit a multigenerational workplace, with a specific focus on Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y (Millennials), and Gen Z. 

Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964)

Baby Boomers are the second-oldest generation and second-highest users of healthcare, behind the Silent Generation (1925 – 1945). Comprising 25% of the workforce, Baby Boomers value financial benefits and traditional health packages that support their eventual retirement and pay for their ongoing medical services and chronic health conditions. 

Also of value: tax-advantaged healthcare accounts that reduce healthcare costs, reduce tax burden, and help protect retirement savings. Finally, Baby Boomers value personal, ongoing relationships with primary doctors, so they’ll want to maintain employer-sponsored coverage that includes their existing network of providers. 

Employee Benefits Valued by Baby Boomers:

  • Traditional benefits package: medical, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • Tax-advantaged healthcare accounts: Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
  • Plans that include employees’ existing network of doctors and specialists
  • Wellness perks: gym membership discounts or reimbursements, incentives to stay active
  • Financial benefits: 401(k) with employer match, retirement planning services
  • Generous Paid-Time Off (PTO)
  • Face-to-face communication, word-of-mouth recommendations, and printed materials during benefits enrollment process

Gen X (1965 – 1980):

As the second largest employment group in the U.S., Gen X makes up nearly one-third of the national workforce. Gen Xers are in their early 40s to late 50s (median age 48), and they are the generation most likely to be caring for children and aging family members. Therefore, Gen X sees doctors frequently in order to manage the health and well-being of themselves, their growing children, and their aging parents. Gen X shares priorities that more closely align with Millennials than with Baby Boomers, including student loan debt and flexible, accessible health plans.

Employee Benefits Valued by Gen X:

  • Multiple options for health plans that offer easy, affordable access to doctors and preventive healthcare services
  • Access to convenient healthcare services: telemedicine, digital wellness programs, etc.
  • Tax-advantaged programs: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Dependent Care Flex Spending Accounts (DC FSA)
  • Family benefits: childcare and caregiving options
  • Workplace flexibility: generous PTO, remote work options, flexible work hours
  • Financial benefits: student-loan repayment and retirement programs
  • Individual research and recommendations from peers, doctors, and online social forums during benefits enrollment process

Millennials / Gen Y (1981 – 1996):

Millennials are now the largest and fastest-growing employment group. In 2018, Millennials made up 35% of the U.S. labor force; by 2025, they’re expected to make up 50% of the U.S. workforce and 75% of the global workforce. Key priorities for Gen Y are career mobility and managing student loan debt, which is carried by 15 million Millennials. 

Millennials change jobs an average of four times within the first 10 years out of college — more than any previous generation. Also, because Millennials are less likely than previous generations to visit a doctor and use traditional healthcare services, they (along with Gen Z) may prefer to seek out alternative benefits, such as behavioral healthcare and mindfulness resources. 

Employee Benefits valued by Gen Y / Millennials:

  • Personalized health plans, with options to mix and match
  • Robust benefits with alternative options
  • Mental healthcare incentives, programs, and coverage
  • Family benefits: family leave, maternity care, fertility benefits, dependent care assistance
  • Workplace flexibility: remote work options, flexible work hours
  • Loan assistance and student-loan repayment programs
  • Individual research and recommendations from online platforms, peers, digital mediums, and comparison tools during benefits enrollment process

Gen Z (1997 – 2012):

Gen Z has just started entering the workforce. Top priorities for Gen Z include opportunities for professional development and career growth, plus a focus on more equitable workplaces. In fact, a 2020 Monster survey revealed that 83% of Gen Z candidates valued a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion when choosing an employer. 

Like Millennials, Gen Z holds heavy financial anxiety regarding student loan debt, making an adequate salary, and job stability (especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic). Gen Z also values robust workplace benefits, including traditional and supplemental benefit options; and they’re more likely to prioritize workplace benefits when seeking out a new job.

Employee Benefits Valued by Gen Z:

  • Personalized health plans, with options to mix and match
  • Robust benefits with alternative options
  • Mental healthcare incentives, programs, and coverage
  • Employee wellness programs: EAP, stress management programs, resiliency training
  • Workplace flexibility: remote work options, flexible work hours
  • Student-loan repayment programs
  • Professional development opportunities and tuition reimbursement
  • Input from parents or peers during benefits enrollment process

Recommended Employer Benefits for A Multigenerational Workplace

Given the range of preferences among a multigenerational workforce, employee engagement is a primary factor for successful benefits enrollment. How do you, the employer, anticipate the expectations of your employees based on where they fall along the generational spectrum? And how do you create and communicate plan options that empower employees to understand and make use of their benefits? 

Consider these starting points: 

  • Learn the generational landscape of your employee workforce.
  • Offer multiple plans that include traditional and alternative benefits, plus flexible spending options.
  • Provide varied formats, resources, and ways to communicate health plan information to employees.

Then get in touch with Regency West Insurance Services. We’ll guide you through group plan options — traditional, supplemental, or alternative — that match the priorities of your employees and their families. Whatever your business needs to create a group benefits package, we’re here to help!