For any company that offers benefits, 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/millennials (those born between 1980-1994), Generation X (those born between 1965-1979), 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 generation in particular that seems to be looking for more: millennials. While studies show that 70% of seniors and 60% of baby boomers say that they’re very satisfied with their benefits information, only 50% of Generation Y-ers stated they were satisfied.
With millennials 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 on. 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 today’s younger age group is unheard of.
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. Today, when an employee or employer needs to communicate questions or concerns, they’d rather not have to resort to a lengthy wait over the phone. Instead, they prefer to use searchable FAQs, push notifications and live chats – having more options to communicate is especially important to 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 smartphone
Out of all four major generations in the workforce today, the younger generations have the highest rate of smartphone ownership. In fact, out of all the 18 to 34 year olds in Canada who subscribe to a mobile phone plan, 70% own a smartphone.
Therefore, millennials and Generation X employees are highly interested in managing their lives through their smartphones 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, younger generations find it helpful to be able to make their benefit claims on their smartphones.
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 10 years. With the ever-increasing flexibility of benefits, employees are wanting their plans to change along with their lifestyle needs. What a young, single man/woman needs in his/her benefits when starting a new job may be different in three years when he/she marries, and even more different again in another two if he/she has a child – and in this day and age, employees want that flexibility to be able to mould their benefits to their current life circumstances.
As you consult with HR departments and small-medium business owners, Benecaid’s Honeybee platform can provide you with an online benefits management 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.