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How Different Generations Really Differ: It Could Impact How You Offer Benefits

How Different Generations Really Differ: It Could Impact How You Offer Benefits
Posted on Monday, October 5, 2015 by Businessolver Team

For nearly a decade, the Millennial generation has been generally criticized for entering the workplace with a sense of entitlement, lack of focus, poor work ethic, and a need to be tethered to their various devices. However new research shows the truth to be quite different — and HR leaders, benefit specialists, and brokers should pay attention.

Millennials, for example, are far more likely than their older colleagues to say that they have fun with their colleagues on the job, and they’re slightly more likely to go beyond their job duties to help their companies succeed, according to Modern Survey’s most recent study of U.S. workforce engagement, “Employee Engagement and the Generations.”

Millennials are also slightly more likely than other generations in the workforce to believe they can be successful in their company while maintaining a “healthy balanced between work and personal life,” the Modern Survey study found.

Another interesting myth-buster that the study revealed is that Millennials are significantly more likely to trust their direct managers and senior leadership team than are their older coworkers. Part of the reason might be that newer employees receive more training and feedback from leadership.

As for being fully engaged with their employers, since 2010, Millennials have been the most likely employees to be what Modern Survey defines as “fully” or “moderately” engaged.” Since 2010, each year on average, 41 percent of Millennials have been fully or moderately engaged, compared with 39 percent for Generation X employees and only 36 percent for Baby Boomers.

What’s not surprising in the study is that Millennials and Gen X employees are more likely than Baby Boomers to follow their company’s social media activity. The younger generations are simply more inclined to use digital devices and use them to track what’s happening with their companies.

When you look at that whole picture, it’s clear that HR leaders need to be sure they consciously work to engage the Millennial workforce to continue to keep them engaged and retain them longer. Companies that dismiss Millennials as disinterested workers who are itching to jump ship will miss the opportunity to develop committed, long-term company advocates.

One way to appeal to each segment of the workface — put particularly to the web-savvy savvy Millennial is to appeal to them more personally during benefits enrollment, both at onboarding and annually. To bolster their sense of having a healthy balance between work and life, for example, it’s important to give them an enrollment experience that is not only “consumer-like” but that fully appreciates the realities of their lives. For example, you can’t rely on benefits enrollment technology that fails to consider these truths:

  • People don’t want to shop for benefits
  • Too much choice prevents good decision-making
  • The buying process for health insurance is an irrational one
  • Employees need to consider more than just the cost of their premiums, deductible and out-of-pocket expenses to make a meaningful recommendation

What’s needed for every generation is employee support that comes from solutions like MyChoiceSM, an insurance recommendation engine that’s smart, completely configurable, and able to factor in the financial, physical and emotional side of the benefit selection process. The result is a personalized strategy that considers the whole employee and helps drive decision-making for each enrolled participant.

With a recommendation engine like MyChoice, the satisfaction gap between types of health plans may matter less than the level of comfort employees feel about the benefit choices they make.