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For Thriving Employees – Benefits Matter

Monday, April 6, 2020
Warren Olaya
For Thriving Employees – Benefits Matter
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We know that when employees are healthy, have lower stress levels, and are happier, they are generally better employees.  Better employees are more productive and deliver a better customer experience period.  Better customer experience results in stickier clients and often leads to a more robust bottom line. 

Making sure your employees have a GREAT employee experience is, therefore, important.  Thriving employees means a flourishing company.  

Multi-Generational Employee Mix

Crafting benefits packages for generationally diverse companies has become an art form.  When you have an employee age mix ranging from 16 to 76, and sometimes older, what matters to one is vastly different than what matters to another.  Appealing to Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials who are sandwiched by the late-retiring Silent Generation and the incoming Gen Z’s isn’t easy, but it can be done! 

Before you head to the whiteboard and begin plotting what the perfect benefits package looks like, you need to understand each generation’s values and stressors.

In a recent PWC study, employees were asked what caused them the most stress. Most employees, 59% in fact, cite financial matters more than any other life stressor combined.  

ALL the generations are worried about affordable and good healthcare. They want to know that when they or someone in their family is sick or has an emergency that they will be able to pay for it.  More importantly, they want to know that the insurance they are subsidizing will deliver. 

Different Generations Have Different Perspectives

Millennials are worried about insurmountable student debt and are making decisions to work in industries that will either help pay for that debt or for non-profit sectors where potential forgiveness is on the board. They also care about and value work-life balance. 

Gen Xers are worried about financing their child’s education AND saving for retirement at the same time.   

Boomers are concerned about retirement; when they can get out when they should get out and affording the lifestyle they want.  This generation, traditionally, has more health issues than Gen Xers, so there is a heightened awareness of health insurance benefits with boomers younger than Medicare age. 

The Silent Generation may have similar concerns that Boomers have, but they also are more about quality of life. They are probably working because they want to versus because they have to since many are past retirement age. Health care coverage at this point is managed by Medicare and subsidies.  

Gen Z is 100 percent focused on the culture of their company. Does it align with my values?  If they opted for a four-year degree, as many are not, they too are worried about student debt. 

Delivering Benefits that Matter to Everyone

Regardless of the generation, employees want to be fulfilled versus just successful.  Thanks to technology and 24/7 access to the office, the stressors of being always available are very real.  

So beyond the health benefits, how can you reduce stress and increase the happy factor to have a thriving company?  

The secret is supporting your employees everywhere possible and meeting them where they are in their lifecycle. In a recent study by MetLife, they found:

  • Six in ten employees say that benefits were an important reason why they joined their company.
  • Benefits are perceived as beneficial when they play a central role in helping the employee reduce financial stressors, and they represent a pivotal role in helping them achieve their personal AND work-related goals.
  • While employees appreciate supplemental benefits, they often don’t understand how they work. Ensuring you have substantial education and support around additional benefits is key. 

 What employees are looking for:

As noted, comprehensive health insurance is critical and is by far a significant perk for most, including prescription, vision, and dental coverage. Next up, are life and disability insurance as well as 401k packages with company match contributions in place.  

There is a myriad of benefits you can add to the standard package offered. We suggest bringing your employees into the conversation.  Survey what they are looking for and, better yet, give them a part in customizing it.  

MetLife also uncovered another interesting data point: 93% of employees say that the ability to customize their benefits is a must-have or nice-to-have option; YET only 68% of employers see this as important.

Customizations may include: 

  • Student debt assistance/forgiveness
  • Pet insurance
  • Expatriate benefits packages
  • Cancer insurance
  • ID theft protection and resolution
  • Legal services
  • Group excess liability coverage
  • Financial planning support
  • EAP (employee assistance programs)
  • Wellness programs
  • High deductible insurance program support – funding HSA accounts

In the same study, MetLife noted 58% of employees say having nontraditional benefits would reduce their stress. In the end, reducing stress with robust benefits packages will not only make your employees happier and healthier – it can make them more productive.  That stress reduction will trickle down to your customer’s happiness factor. 

For more help creating a customized benefits package, it’s always wise to enlist your employee benefits broker.  Feel free to reach out to our team here at The Horton Group to get started. 

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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