Two things get me very excited -- Interesting content about employee behavior and a really good infographic. When someone nails both in one swoop, I consider it good enough to share. Here’s why I find this gem relevant to our friends and readers. To understand the types of competitive employee benefit packages that are going to create the best level of satisfaction and loyalty for your company, you need to understand who your employees are, and what is important to them.
More than one-in-three American workers today are millennials - adults ages 18 to 34 - and in 2015 they surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
So, the first wave of Millennials has entered the workforce, and already the traditional work environment is being transformed. Workers are no longer bound to one office, one device, even one job.
This fantastic infographic Work Habits of the New Millennium (developed by TollFreeForwarding.com) outlines a few of the Millennial personas who are taking the American workforce by storm. Understand who they are, and you begin to understand the “add-on” benefits they will find valuable.
Original content by Daniel Swanick. “Good Fit Benefit” commentary by yours truly. Enjoy!
Currently only 2.6% of US employees consider their home as their primary place of work, but of Gen-Y workers, 3 out of 5 expect to work remotely. Remote working is all the rage with all age groups, though, and for good reason. According to IBM, teleworkers are 50% more productive than their office-bound counterparts. When overall employment dropped after the 2008 recession, the telecommuting workforce actually grew.
Good Fit Benefit: Telemedicine. I imagine someone who prefers to work remotely might also prefer to see a doctor remotely. Without the need to travel or wait around a doctor’s office, Joe Employee might be more likely to get the care he needs to fight that pesky sinus infection that will keep him from being as productive as he should be over the next few weeks. Employer win.
“9 to 5” no longer applies when modern technology allows people to not only work where, but when they feel most productive. A recent study by the University of Adelaide shows our brains actually learn better at night. The rise in freelancing also means more people working unconventional work hours. When asked to describe their work habits, 18.8% of both men and women described themselves as night owls.
Good Fit Benefit: Healthcare Advocacy. Maybe Jane the Night Owl isn’t at home working at 2:00AM, but she might be going through her mail? After opening up a large unexpected bill from lab work she had done a few weeks back, she would have 2 options… Toss and turn for the rest of the night worrying about it, or plan to get on the phone in the morning with a healthcare advocate who can explain the bill to her, why the amount is what it is, and how to avoid such high costs in the future with different providers. Advocates help people understand their benefits better, so they can make better informed decisions about their care, and rest easier at night. Employer win.
Multi-tasking has been around for ages, but the rise of the Internet and connected devices brought it to a whole new level. Studies have shown that due to growing up hyper-exposed to multimedia, Millennials are better suited to multi-tasking that any other generation before them. 89% of smartphone owners use them while at work. The lines between professional and personal are blurring, especially when 24% of employees use a smartphone or tablet as their primary work-related device. It’s estimated that only 2% of people can truly multitask effectively, yet recent studies have shown that employees who are given some freedom to surf the web at work are 9% more productive than those who don’t.
Good Fit Benefit: Employee Benefits App. “Do you have a copy of my ID card? Is this procedure covered by our insurance? Do you have a copy of our drug formulary?” If all these calls to HR sound familiar, it’s because they are – calling HR is easier than digging through piles and piles of emails, letters, and benefit summaries. Imagine if your only response was “There’s an app for that.” With the ability to have your benefit questions answered at the tap of a screen, people who are already tethered to their mobile devices won’t hesitate to search out help on their own before contacting HR with questions. Thus, less calls and emails for HR to handle. Employer win.
For most Millennials, their parent’s and grandparent’s experience of a single salaried career will never come. And in today’s economy, one job isn’t enough. 35% of employed Millennials have started their own business on the side to supplement their income. 46% of Millennials want to start their own business within the next 5 years.
With such a changing work environment, most Millennials don’t plan to stay in one job for more than 3 years at a time. 63% of Millennials know someone who has had to move because of the economy. So many Millennials prefer to stay on-the-go. More than a quarter of Millennials are self-employed; 61% prefer video meetings with advisors; 69% believe office attendance is unnecessary on a regular basis. 38% of Millennials who are currently working said they were actively looking for a different job. While 43% said they were not actively looking, but were open to offers. Millennials also account for 30% of US business travelers.
Good Fit Benefit: Portable 401k. We never want to think about losing our employees. But, in this day and age, it’s bound to happen. People grow and move on. With so much mobility in our careers, having a retirement system that you can transfer from one job to another (or to a personal investment account) is very beneficial. And offering a 401k program is attractive to prospective new employees, because you inevitably need to have new great talent to replace the talent you lose. Circle of life. Employer win.
Chief Engagement Officer
Technically Gen X, but channels her inner Millennial.
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