Workplace benefits are a changing game. What employees craved in the 1990s is a world away from what we want today – which will almost definitely be different from the workplace of 2050.
One of the most notable ways the employment landscape is changing centres around the age of workers and how long they choose to stay in work. We’re retiring later and later which has an impact on office demographics – as well as a shift in what perks we want.
“There has been a prevalent shift by the entrance of the Millennial generation into our workplaces,” explained Gisela Carere, president of Benchmark Benefit Solutions. “I think in our younger years we all believe ourselves to be invincible, buying into the ideas that we don’t need to worry about our health.
“However, increasingly there’s a focus on being proactive with our overall wellness, as well as companies placing a more intensive focus on safeguarding mental health. Through health claims experience, employers have a great gateway to understand their employees needs and how to facilitate a plan that will ultimately reflect and bring forward a workforce that meets an organization’s vision and mission.”
As employers, it’s important for you to try to reap the benefits of this multigenerational workforce. As Gisela told us, the rise of older workers has led to something of a new phenomenon – knowledge sharing.
“Organizations want talented older workers to stay in their ranks as long as they can and, in an effort to do so, organizations have had to re-think and adapt their benefit plans,” she continued. “Age of coverage termination has surpassed 65, going beyond that to anything between 70 and 85 years. As a reaction to this, some employers offer benefits into retirement, most commonly health and dental packages.
“HR leaders should be constantly looking at the statistics and data out there, and keep at par with mature aged workers’ wants, whilst balancing it with their younger colleagues’ needs. There should be a balance between the two generations.”
And whilst we can’t say for sure what the future of benefits plans will look like, Gisela is in a unique position of authority on predicting upcoming trends.
“There’s definitely more awareness regarding better cost management and understanding of employee needs, and the required means to bring forward a stronger and healthier workforce through the right employee benefit plan,” mused Gisela.
“By this, I mean HR leaders now have a heightened awareness of the importance of addressing long-term sustainability issues such as the high cost of biologic drugs for example and also designing a benefit plan that incentivizes effective employee behaviour and healthy decisions.”
What do you think the future of benefits looks like? Tell us in the comments.