The future of work is evolving rapidly. With new generations entering the workforce, organisational work culture and values are also changing. There’s a shift in how employees view work-life balance, and this is causing organisations to become radically human. Employers realise the importance of innovation in crafting new work policies. And so, we're seeing the rise of various types of employee benefits among different generations. This is the only way we can adapt to a future workplace that serves everybody equally.
Think about it. One of the crucial things for any employee is the perks they are offered. This post looks at the types of employee benefits among different generations. We emphasise the values each generation is known for and how you can optimise for them as their employer.
Anyone born between 1946 and 1964 is considered to be a boomer. They are known for their sharp decision-making skills, love workplace visibility, and value experience and authority. You can say that boomers are very traditional in how they approach work and life.
However, boomers no longer make up a big part of the workforce as they have either retired or are nearing retirement.
However, if you’re a young adult with working parents, ask them which employee benefits they value the most.
After conducting this experiment with close friends and family, all of them had one consistent answer. Health insurance and retirement benefits are a must. In India, retirement benefits come in terms of contribution to the EPF regularly. However, during the Boomers era, health insurance was not an employee benefit offered by every organisation.
Given that they valued long working hours and were motivated by position and work prestige, it’s a no-brainer that they wanted benefits that secured their well-being in the long run.
Gen X were born between 1965 and 1980. They are one of the largest groups of employees who value education and career advancement opportunities. Having seen their boomer parents put in long working hours and working to live, Gen X have flipped the script. They live to work. And, given their inclination to learn and grow in the flow of work, Gen X are some of the most specialised professionals.
However, following Boomer’s lead, Gen X also value medical and life insurance benefits. Given that most Gen X also grew up around a time when the global financial crisis was prevalent, financial and wealth management is another perk that ranks high on their motivator scale.
Millennials were born between 1981 and 1995. They currently make up the majority of the workforce. They are highly autonomous and driven individuals who seek clarity in the big picture. Having been through the some financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional ways of work don’t work for millennials.
Millennials value preventative care alongside medical and life insurance coverage. Preventive care includes unlimited doctor consultations, discounted medicines, gym memberships and more.
And while the previous generations are known for working hard and long, millennials prioritise working smarter. For the same reason, they enjoy a flexible work culture with a generous PTO policy.
Gen Zs have just begun entering the workforce. These are people born between 1996 and 2012. With an estimated 12 million youth joining the Indian workforce each year, employers are anticipating shifts in work culture.
Unlike the previous generation, Gen Zs prefer opportunities to explore their career. They like to work with start-ups predominantly as it exposes them to various avenues at work. Another critical trait of Gen Z is understanding the “why” of decisions. They enjoy working with organisations that align with their values.
Gen Zs value remote work with flexible schedules. They also prioritise mental health and wellness benefits on par with insurance benefits. Many Gen Zs love a positive and healthy work environment. In a previously published blog, we discovered that Gen Zs enjoy distinguishing between their work and personal lives. They also like taking time off from work without having to explain why.
It is obvious that Gen Zs are highly self-aware and will be critical in bringing some of the best shifts to the workplace.
The common thread
There’s a common thread that runs through all generations. Despite the tremendous shifts and innovative employee benefits, we have seen that group health and life insurance are a significant perk. The rise of new generations has shown us a transition from sick care to preventative care.
This is pretty obvious given that many employees faced the harsh realities of how fragile their health and healthcare systems are. Building the best types of employee benefits among the different generations can be daunting. But you can eliminate the stress of finding the right perks by asking your employees for their opinions. In many organisations, we see the rise of benefits such as four-day work weeks, L&D budgets and more.
Only when you lend your ears to your employees do you hear what benefits they truly want. This way, you can analyse if what they demand aligns with your work culture and create these benefits for them.
If you liked what you read, you would enjoy our conversation with Aashish Singh, CHRO of Meesho, who spoke to us about building inclusive work policies.