MILLENNIALS AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS: 5 THOUGHTS
Do you ever feel like you “literally just can’t even” as you’re trying to figure out what employee benefits Millennials love? (if you don’t know what this means, click the link above to learn more)
The first quarter of 2015 saw the largest shift in the landscape of the American workforce, as Millennials became the majority of American workers. With no signs of stopping, it’s imperative that employee benefit consultants understand what Millennials actually value in order to properly ease their pain points.
According to James Morrissey, a Boston Sr. Human Resources consultant, “Where Generation X sought a work/life balance, the Millennials seem far more interested in work-life integration - making the pieces of their professional life and personal life align in ways that they coexist and often-times blend together.”
I’m a Millennial and I’ve been in the employee benefits space my entire post-college career. Yes, we’d all love to work flexible hours…remotely…with unlimited PTO. I realize that’s not possible for all employers. Based on my experience, here are 5 benefits we love that are possible for any employer....
1. Immediacy of use (I want it NOW!)
Even the best platinum plans are of little use if employees can’t use the benefits when they need them. The last things I want to deal with when I’m sick are scheduling a visit for sometime in the future, having to get out of bed, get dressed, drive through traffic, sit in the doctor’s office for over an hour – all to finally speak with a doctor for 20 minutes to get a prescription. Telehealth is the new sexy benefit – so use it, learn it, and love it. How about letting Millennials have an email conversation with specialists, pharmacists, dentists, alternative care providers, etc.? I want that, too…right away.
2. 24/7 access on the go (Whenever, wherever)
Our phone is the centerpiece of our lives. It’s with us constantly and we have everything housed within this one device. I want to use my benefits wherever I happen to be, whenever I need them. I want an easy, streamlined way to use my benefits. Have an app that’s intuitive. Have a website (hopefully, you have this by now) that’s mobile-friendly. Have a brand I can trust.
3. Concierge help (I’m kind of a big deal)
Insurance is an expansive labyrinth filled with pitfalls for the average consumer, let alone a younger employee who has likely never had to access “the system.” Any type of concierge help is a plus to my generation. This could be as simple as reminding employees that their plan includes a free preventative visit or explaining how their HSA works again. How about providing a personal advocate who can help answer questions specific to a plan, check providers in the network, get price quotes, book appointments, and even deal with billing issues? These services not only save us money, they also empower us to make the best decisions for our health. Isn’t that why we became brokers in the first place?
4. Transparency (I know exactly how much my iPhone will cost, but no idea how much my procedure is)
From my internet to rent to electricity, I’m able to pull statements and bills for all the services I use. I can also easily get quotes and pricing tools to determine who has the fastest internet in my area, what TV package is going to provide me with all the channels I want at the lowest rate, etc. Let me do the same with my medical plan. There is no reason your clients shouldn’t know what, and how much they are paying to use a benefit. Provide them with a transparency tool. If I’m told I need an MRI, I want a list of providers covered in my network, to read reviews on the doctor/lab/hospital, to know what it’s going to cost and to know how that interacts specifically with MY insurance plan. Don’t simply sell them a list of benefits; provide them with the tools to maximize how they utilize them.
5. Pets (My bae is even more spoiled than me)
Millennials are having kids later in life, opting to bring more pets into their families. Two in three employees have a pet and we want to provide them with the best. We spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on our pets each year. From toys, treats and vet visits, to Halloween costumes and Christmas sweaters, we like to make sure they’re well taken care of. Don’t only offer benefits for the health of the employee, allow them to care for their entire family, regardless of class, order, or species :-)
Millennials are an on-demand generation. We want it all and we want it now! You can’t provide everything, but you can have a robust benefits suite customized to work for Millennials, too. Not only is the benefits landscape changing on the plan end, the needs of the employee are evolving simultaneously. Always keep your Millennial employee needs in mind when designing the benefits packages you present to employers.
Now it’s your turn! Do you keep the new majority of American workers in mind as you’re planning a strategic benefit package? Have you found some cool benefits Millennials love? Comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.