'One size fits all' benefits don't work in diverse workplaces
- With four generations of employees in the workplace, each with distinct priorities, employers must offer diverse, self-selecting benefits, SHRM recommends.
- According to SHRM, older workers, age 70+, most likely need critical health and portable health plans. Boomers, aged 52 to 70, also need health coverage and retirement savings plans. Generation X, ages 37 to 51, might favor life insurance coverage as parents and potential home-buyers. And millennials might want student loan repayment programs and group home and auto insurance.
- SHRM recommends that employers start planning their benefits strategies now to prepare for generation Z.
“One size fits all” is not necessarily right for all employees in one generation, which is why allowing them to choose from an array of benefits offerings is a sound idea — and is one reason why voluntary benefits programs have emerged in the way they have.
Surveying employees can help organizations decide which benefits they’ll likely select or reject. Giving employees a say in what benefits employers might offer can make them feel empowered and respected. As studies have shown, quirky office perks might be novel or fun, but benefits with lasting value, such as wellness programs and retirement plans, are likely to be employees’ top choices.