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How to Provide Benefits for a Multigenerational Workforce

Jeff Griffin

Today, many employers are facing an interesting phenomenon companies have never experienced before. There are at least three generations making up the bulk of workforce, with two other generations filling things out at both ends of the age spectrum. Each of these generations has a different set of priorities, which presents unique management and employee benefits challenges for employers. Each of these generations is influenced by the period of time in which they were raised; their work lives are shaped by world events, cultural phenomena and personal experiences.

How is one employer supposed to make three (or even five) generations of people happy? Managing employee benefits across a multigenerational workforce might not be easy, but it’s certainly not impossible.

Defining the Generations

Whether you have 50 employees or 500, chances are you have a mix of generations working for you. So let’s first discuss the various generations before diving into multi-generational benefit design. Here's a breakdown of these five groups.

The Silent Generation

Born between 1928 and 1945, a good portion of this generation grew up (or was born) during the Great Depression and were named such because, at the time, it was believed children were meant to be “seen and not heard.” The older portion might have served toward the end of World War II. People in this generation are at least 72 years old as of 2017. This portion of the workforce is rather small at this point — about 2 percent.

Because this entire generation is above the traditional “retirement age,” most of the people still working in this age bracket are in high level positions, while others are running their own businesses or still working in a family-run company. That said, there are some who work in part-time, hourly and seasonal positions primarily to keep themselves busy and to interact with people.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, millennials, Multi-Generational

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7 Simple Ways to Boost Morale at Work

Jeff Griffin

Employee morale can ebb and flow in an office environment. Sometimes dips in morale have nothing to do with actual work — it could mean people are struggling with personal issues and it’s seeping into their professional life. The trouble is, emotions are contagious. We start mimicking each others faces when we’re just hours old and it doesn’t stop in adulthood. At work, positive feelings can spread throughout your staff, just like negative ones — and both can spread through your work and impact morale.

If you notice that multiple employees are displaying negative behaviors (eye-rolling, sarcastic comments, reluctance to get work done, or coming in late), it may be time to boost morale at work. Boosting employee morale doesn’t have to involve a series of complicated incentives. Most of the time, it’s about providing some outwardly noticeable benefits that your workforce enjoys — the kinds of things they’d tell their family and friends about when boasting about the place they work.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Employee Engagement, millennials, Employee Retention, generation z, employee culture, Giving Back

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The Changing Definition of Work-Life Balance

David Rook

The term “work-life balance” has gotten quite a bit of buzz in recent years, thanks in part to the new priorities millennials are bringing to the workplace. This idea captures the desire to work and grow in a career, but also the desire to enjoy one’s life outside of work — with the goal of creating a meaningful sense of balance between the two.

However, it’s not just millennials who crave a healthy balance between their working lives and time spent outside the office. Because the workforce is currently juggling three different generations (not counting the bookend demographic groups of Generation Z and The Silent Generation) who view the working world in different ways, it’s important to define what “work-life balance” truly means to each of them, as it may change how employers can effectively motivate employees.

For example, employers might consider adjusting incentive programs to accommodate different needs and desires among several different generations of workers.

How Baby Boomers Feel About Work-Life Balance

The baby boomer generation encompasses the group of people born after the Second World War — between the years of 1946 and 1964. Although baby boomers are frequently described as the largest generation in history, Pew Research reports that millennials have now overtaken boomers as the largest living generation. Millennials also make up the largest demographic in the workforce today.   

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Topics: Employee Benefits, millennials, Multi-Generational, Employee Retention, work life balance

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5 Employment Myths About Millennials Every Employer Should Know

David Rook

Already, the millennial generation is beginning to shape the workplace. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials form 25% of the today’s workforce, and by 2030, they will occupy 75%.

Millennials' attitudes towards work, their vast knowledge in technologies, and their strong career aspirations will determine the culture of the 21st century workplace. Therefore, this generation is not only different but also a very crucial engine that will steer the world economy in the coming decades.

A lot is said about these “digital natives,” but much of it is conjecture. Mostly, what is said about millennials is said through the biased lenses of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. Employers need to shed this narrow thinking and separate the facts from myths about this demographic.

Here are the five most common employment myths about millennials you need to get right.

Myth 1: Millennials want constant acclamation.

Millennials are said to crave positive reinforcement and tend to think that everyone in the team “deserves a trophy.” However, a study by IBM showed that this is just a misconception. The study found that millennials value feedback and a fair manager who recognizes their accomplishments.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, millennials, segmentation

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Research Shows U.S. Employee Benefits Lag Behind European Countries

David Rook

Yes, this is the land of opportunity. However, a recent report from research firm Glassdoor found that employee benefits for Americans lag far behind their European counterparts. Researchers compared paid paternity and maternity leave, general paternal leave, paid holidays, paid sick leave, and unemployment benefits across 14 countries. While countries like Sweden, Finland, France, and the UK took the prize in numerous categories, the U.S. failed to shine in any of the areas analyzed.

Why should we care how U.S. employee benefits compare to other countries? It's doubtful your employees will move to another country just to get more paid time off. However, this trend is significant for U.S. companies looking to retain their talent. Here's why.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, millennials, Retention

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Benefits That Matter Most, Part One: The Millennial Mindset

David Rook

Benefits That Matter Most, Part One: The Millennial Mindset

This is the first of our new 3-part blog series, “Benefits That Matter Most.” This series will examine ways to tailor benefits packages to appeal to several diverse groups of employees. In Part One, we’ll explore how millennials are changing the way benefit packages are designed in the workplace. Part Two will discuss the unique challenges of crafting a benefits package to appeal to a multi-generational workforce, while Part Three will focus on benefits that appeal to a multi-cultural workforce.


The Millennial Challenge

There can be no doubt that the benefits landscape is changing with the wave of millennials now joining the workforce. Traditional benefits packages typically do not address all the points that millennials are looking for as they enter the job market. Attracting top talent from the millennial generation requires a more creative approach.
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Topics: Employee Benefits, millennials, segmentation

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