According to the Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, 2015 marked the year that millennials surpassed Gen Xers as the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. At that time, millennials represented 34% of the workforce. By 2020, it is estimated that millennials will comprise nearly half (46%) of the workforce. The prominence of this generation makes it critical for employers to consider the specific needs and dynamics of millennials when creating and communicating benefit packages. The Millennials Come of Age report from Colonial Life uses industry and internal company research to illustrate the best strategies, communication tools, and technology human resource professionals can use to ensure their companies find and keep the best and brightest among the largest generation in U.S. history. Below is the biggest highlight from the report.
Insurance, whether it be health, dental, life, or other, has long been a staple of benefit plans. These benefits have also been seen by other generations as tools to protect employees and their families from bad events that impact everyone. Millennials view insurance benefits in a different light. They see these benefits as an important piece of overall physical, emotional, and financial health. As such, millennials want benefits designed to keep them healthy rather than protect from adverse events. For example, rather than considering dental insurance as a way to protect themselves against tooth decay and high-priced dentist bills, millennials may be more willing to consider dental insurance as a way to stay healthy. Stephen Bygott from Colonial Life says of millennials, “being healthy doesn’t just mean not feeling sick. It’s commitment to an ongoing healthy approach to life, including eating habits, exercise and avoiding activities that can be viewed as damaging.” Employers should embrace this viewpoint when communicating benefits to millennials.
Expansion Of Benefits
It is clear that the definition of healthy differs for millennials. It includes proactive behavior to do more than just avoid being sick. This is why employers looking to hire and retain this generation need to expand benefits beyond insurance products. Millennials want access to wellness solutions and technologies that allow them to address this need and want to work for employers that understand their perspective.