Employee benefit schemes are effective ways to attract new members of staff to your organisation, and retain and engage your existing team. However, it can be a challenge to match schemes with your workforce when there is a diverse range of age groups in a business.

What attracts and retains baby boomers will not be the same as what makes your company look appealing to a Millennial.

We also have what is termed an ‘ageing workforce’ to provide for: not ageing in a debilitating sense, but ageing as in working and remaining a vital part of the workforce for longer. Some employers are targeting this generation specifically, for example supermarkets, providing jobs for those looking to earn well into retirement. At the same time supermarkets also look to attract younger people into the industry, particularly into management roles.

The mistake many organisations make is to use a ‘one size fits all’ approach and expect everyone to sign up for the same benefit schemes.

Benefit Schemes For Every Generation

Offering a choice of benefit schemes that allow employees to find something that they can engage with at different times of their lives is the solution. But what to offer? Here’s our list of multi-generational ideas for your workforce:

The Millennials (Gen Y) And Generation Z

Traditional benefit packages such as health insurance are not as attractive to this generation as they are to older employees. They respond to other schemes like Mobile Phones For Staff or Home Electronics schemes that give them access to new technology at much more affordable prices.

As a generation, the Millennials also have poor credit scores and many are in debt, not just from Student Loans but also from maxing on the credit cards. Therefore access to more affordable finance can be a very effective way of attracting this generation to your organisation, and helping them get their finances in order.

Generation X

Those born between 1960 and 1980 are typically more established in their careers and may have their sights set on further advancement or even early retirement. Many employees will be interested in childcare schemes as there are more parents with dependent children in this group than in others.

Work-life balance is a significant motivating factor for Generation X, so benefits that allow them flexibility such as working from home, 4-day weeks, or more flexible working hours are attractive. Benefit schemes that help facilitate a better work-life balance, for example Gym Membership schemes, can also help attract and retain this generation, reducing their spending on those things they enjoy out of work.

Baby Boomers

Generally baby boomers are less likely to move to a different employer than other generations but this doesn’t mean you should forget about retention strategies. As highlighted above, you may also be interested in specifically attracting this generation to your organisation and therefore benefits and incentive schemes will need to form part of your recruitment.

Many people in this group will be thinking about financial security and ultimately their retirement, so affordable loan schemes may provide them with a way of consolidating their debts. They may also be interested in schemes that help them reduce their monthly outgoings, for example their food bill, and therefore Shop and Save schemes can be very attractive.

Of course the baby boomers are next in line to retire and one of the problems many organisation have is that their benefit schemes are aligned with this generation, not Generation Y or Z. If this is the case for your company it is time to find ways of meeting the needs of younger employees, both to attract them into your organisation but also to retain talented Millennials.

Here are three steps you can take today:

  1. Review your current workforce: Get a picture of the generational make-up of your team, and also consider where new talent will come from,
  2. Survey your employees: Find out what your employees think of your existing benefit packages or schemes. Are they relevant to them? Do they sign up to them? Would they prefer something else?
  3. Provide a choice of schemes: If you have a multi-generational workforce you will need to ensure there are schemes for everyone. Prioritise the larger demographic but also have an eye on the future and what your workforce will look like in the next 5-10 years.

By Richard Ellis, sales & marketing director, Connected Benefits