As the growing trend towards a diverse and flexible workforce continues, employers will need to make sure the benefit package it offers and how it is offered, can attract and retain talent across the different demographics.
The workplace of the 21st century is a very different place from the workplace of even just 20 years ago.
Rapid technological growth and the rise in artificial intelligence, social media and mobile platforms are revolutionising the way employers are engaging and doing business with the world around them. On top of this, employers are facing evolving employee demographics, with multiple generations now working side by side.
There are undoubtedly benefits to a demographically-diverse workforce and if an organisation can be harness the talents of the different generations and bring them together, the capacity of the problem solving and innovation is huge.
It’s critical then that all organisations consider the types of benefit packages that are needed to maintain their lead over competitors, to attract and retain a strong team, and to make the most of the opportunities a demographically-diverse workforce can bring.
Build your culture to attract the right talent
For any organisation looking to future-proof its business, attracting the right people is critical to success and the right culture needs to be built to attract this talent. The challenge for an organisation is how to go about doing this with a diverse demographic of potential and current employees. The values, beliefs and behaviours of individuals of different ages and in different stages of life can vary widely. Therefore, highlighting the culture and the benefits offered in the most impactful way depends on having a genuine understanding of each of the generations.
And although the differences between the Baby Boomers and Generation Y (the millennials) are well documented, they do share one key similarity: they’re looking for a competitive pay and benefits package in the workplace; a benefits package that includes a workplace pension and savings options along with health and other insurance.
The different generational characteristics to consider when developing a benefits package
When developing an employee benefits package to appeal to all demographics, employers need to understand that expectations of employment differ between the generations. Each demographic, for example, has a slightly different perspective when it comes to technology:
• Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) may well be part of the older workforce demographic, born in the WW2 baby boom, but typically, they have the most economic clout and hold the reins of power
• Generation X, meanwhile, (born between 1965 and 1979) are now becoming the ‘helicopter parents’ of Generation Z. With Baby Boomers looking towards their retirement, Generation X are replacing them, slowly moving up the hierarchy
• Generation Y, or the millennials, (born between 1980 and 1995) have been shaped by the technology revolution that saw computers, tablets and the web become central to work and life. They grew up during the millennium period, a time of rapid change and as such, they are considered the ‘digital natives’ of the world; history’s first ‘always connected generation’
• Then there’s Generation Z, the youngest demographic, (born between 1996 and 2010) who are the ‘first tribe of true digital natives’ or ‘screenagers’. They are living in a world of continuous updates and they process information faster than other generations thanks to apps like Snapchat and Vine
How to ensure your rewards package is competitive
Despite the differences between the generations, these insights can help organisations make sure their employee benefits are competitive enough to attract and retain a multi-generational workforce.
Forward-thinking employers are already looking at their employee experience holistically and considering staff’s overall physical, emotional, professional and financial wellbeing. Most importantly, as people of all ages gain more appreciation of great customer experience delivered by retail companies, employees want and expect an integrated, digital experience at work, despite their age, and progressive employers are delivering their benefits in this way.
An integrated, digital solution must cater for each generation
Any integrated, digital solution an employer considers, therefore, must cater for each generation and their relationship with technology. It should offer flexibility for people to opt out of the digital journey when it suits them so they can access a variety of other communication channels, such as telephone and face-to-face support.
It must be secure, compatible with any device, intuitive and easy for people to find information about their benefits. Crucially, it must offer tools, so employees can experiment and model the impact of all their financial benefits. This is especially important as people have multiple workplace pension pots and move between careers, employment and self-employment.
Bringing benefits for employers
Finally, an integrated, digital employee benefits platform brings benefits for employers. It can cut down on supplier and technology costs and drive better efficiency and performance, thanks to its people analytics capability. Insight about employees, from their engagement through to what they are paying into their pensions, can support decision making to optimise an organisation’s operational and financial performance.
As rapid technological and social change continues to drive evolution in the workplace, organisations will need to stay ahead of the competition. And one way to do this is to offer an integrated, digital employee benefits solution to keep pace.
The views expressed in this blog should not be regarded as financial advice.
It’s important to remember that a pension is a long-term investment and as such its value can go down as well as up. It could even be worth less than was paid.