For any company that offers benefits solution, their main goal is to take care of the happiness and health of their employees. But what can you do to reach that goal? How can you work to get more employees engaged in your plan so that they see the value of the benefits you provide – and use them? For most companies, the biggest way they can work to build engagement seems simple on the surface but is much more complex in reality – and that is improving communication.
But what’s important to keep in mind is that there is a large distinction in values between the four generations of Canadians who currently make up the workplace. Today, we have Generation Y 20-somethings, Generation X 30- and 40-somethings, early boomers in their 50s and late boomers in their 60s — all who value their benefits plan in different ways.
Pleasing every group regarding better communication isn’t easy, but there’s one group in particular that seems to be looking for more: Generation Y. While studies show that 70 percent of seniors and 60 percent of baby boomers say that they’re very satisfied with their benefits information, only 50 per cent of Generation Y-ers stated they were satisfied.
With Gen Y being the future of the workforce, smart employers are turning their eyes to them and their feedback to find the areas that they can improve. And in terms of communication improvements, what Generation Y-ers and Generation X-ers want is the following:
- All communication online
Young people are used to doing most everything online and seeing instant results. So when they’re asked to fill out a paper claim for a benefit and mail or fax it in, it’s like asking them to drive it in and drop it off in person – which to the younger age group is unheard of in 2017.
With online access to benefits, employees feel more at home. They’re able to take control of their benefits package and address questions or concerns with ease. Benefits stay “top of mind” because they’re always there. When an employee or employer needs to communicate questions or concerns, they can do so without a lengthy phone wait by using searchable FAQs, push notifications, and live chats – having the option of how to communicate is incredibly important to the younger generations.
And with the rise in flexible benefits, this also allows employees to access their benefits plan and make changes whenever they need to. What’s key with online benefits access is making sure it’s a user-friendly platform. Complicated, buggy sites or mobile apps can make online access just as cumbersome as paper-based accounts.
- The ability to make claims with a smart phone
Out of all four major generations in the workforce today, the younger generations have the highest rate of smart phone ownership. In fact, out of all the 18 to 34-year-olds in Canada who subscribe to a mobile phone plan, 70 percent own a smart phone.
Therefore, Generation Y and Generation X employees are highly interested in managing their lives through their smart phones whenever possible. In terms of health benefits, this means providing a user-friendly app that allows employees and employers to access and make changes to their benefits plan whenever they choose. In particular, the younger generations find it helpful to be able to make their benefit claims on their smart phones.
- Clearer, more direct language
A health benefits plan is no longer something that is set up at the beginning of a career and only regarded every five or ten years from then on. With the ever-increasing flexibility of benefits plans, employees themselves are becoming masters of their benefits, and they are accessing their plans and wanting them to change along with their changing lifestyle. What a young, single man needs in his benefits when he starts at a job may be different in 3 years when he marries, and even more different again in another 2 if they have a child – and in this day and age employees want that flexibility to be able to mould their benefits to their lifestyle.
As you consult with HR departments and small-medium business owners, Benecaid’s Honeybee platform can provide you with an online benefits platform that employs all of the improvements listed above and makes communication a breeze for both employees and employers, while giving them the flexibility to make their own choices. Contact your Benecaid Executive Benefits Consultant or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.