Quality benefits make your employees happy and reduce turnover but only if your employees understand and appreciate what you offer. Millennial workers in particular do not always take advantage of all their benefits, which is why you need to adjust your strategy to reach these employees.
Millennials’ Insurance and Benefits Trends
According to a 2015 survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, millennials are the most likely generation to not understand their benefits. Millennials are also least likely to accept or a reject a job based on benefits.
Part of this comes from age and experience. Since millennials have spent less time in the workforce, they haven’t had a chance to use and understand their benefits. It takes time to learn why a 401k is so helpful for retirement planning.
Under the Affordable Care Act, millennials also have the option to stay under their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26 so having their own health insurance at work is less of a priority. However, there is a chance the ACA could be repealed in the future so it’s a good time to stress why it’s important for millennial workers to have their own benefits.
Millennials need more help understanding their benefits but employers do not spend enough time educating them. It’s not enough to only cover benefits for new hires and at open enrollment once a year. Younger workers need more time to appreciate what they have. You could schedule more reviews throughout the year to highlight just how much value you are offering with your company benefits.
The way you present benefits information could also make a difference. Millennials have the reputation of being more technologically focused and you should adjust your strategy for this. Don’t rely only on live meetings and paper documents to teach your workforce about your benefits. See what kind of online and mobile applications your benefits provider offers to get your millennial workers more engaged.
Remember Your Audience
Younger workers might have trouble imagining when they would use benefits or disability insurance. You should help them by explaining how their benefits could be useful in the near future. For example, many millennial workers are dealing with student loans. You could emphasize how your disability insurance would help them keep up with their loan payments even if they had to take time off for an illness or injury.
Consider Flexible Benefits
It may be worth adjusting your benefits to better match what millennials want or need. They are more interested in flexible benefits, like getting more money to buy benefits on their own rather than enrolling in a traditional insurance plan.
If you feel like your younger workers are not getting enough out of your current benefits, talk to your broker about what other options you could offer, like a high-deductible plan with an HSA. The premium on the high-deductible plan would cost less than your traditional insurance so workers in this plan would save money every month. Then millennial workers can decide whether to fund their HSAs or keep the money for themselves.
As more and more millennials turn 26, millennials’ insurance becomes a bigger issue. Getting young workers excited about benefits will take some planning but by following these steps, you can all get more out of your company’s investment.