Workplace standards never stay still for long. Trends and changing attitudes are always pushing workplace norms into new horizons, especially in capitalist societies where business must adapt to survive. The most critical change the be considered in the last five years is the emergence of the adult millennial and the retirement of the boomer. As millennials begin to take center stage, all aspects of policy, culture, and workplace standards must change to fit the expectations of this transformative generation. This certainly includes company benefits. Here are four employee benefits trends to consider.
Flexibility, not Rigidity
While choosing various aspects of your benefits package is pretty common, it’s usually within a pretty small range of choices. Do you want dental? Vision? What level of health insurance do you want? PTO is rarely negotiated and hours spent at work, traditionally, is expected to be no less than eight hours.
This is no longer good enough. Millennials are demanding more choices. They are demanding that employers crack open the idea of common employee benefits, pick out the pieces, and put something more comprehensive and custom together for them.
Millennials are rejecting the idea of working at a desk, in the office, for exactly 40 hours per week, four weeks a month. They are also rejecting longer hours at work, overtime, and high work travel times. The reigning philosophy is that they want to work to live, not live to work. So, having that balance is very important to them. Gone are the days of interns pulling 80 hour work weeks to prove their grit to the senior partners. Millennials believe they have value and can offer it in their own time.
Offering flexible working hours and some work from home days in a benefits package will go a long way in making people of the younger generation happy.
Better Enrollment Platforms
Many people of the older generations have become accustomed to archaic enrollment technologies, from hybridized paper/digital processes to clunky, impossible-to-navigate online interfaces. New software systems are emerging that are demonstrating a better way forward. Clean, simple, thoughtful interfaces that require very little from the user, other than some straightforward data entry, are paving the way forward.
Benefits enrollment and new employee onboarding should be simpler, whether you use a software program or an offsite HR department.
Innovation to Cut Costs
Some insurance companies are offering wristbands that record your activity and heart rate throughout the day, promising to give you lower premiums if you show that you are active and healthy. While these offerings are still flawed, millennials are calling for more.
Instead of assigning blanket coverage, millennials demand that they are individualized, that they don’t pay hefty premiums when they aren’t likely to need much healthcare at their age and activity levels. This means innovating and re-inventing health coverage.
As the boomers retire and move off into the sunset, millennials are literally taking their seats. The old fashioned, tried and true benefits packages are no longer acceptable. As your company considers changes to adapt to the future, look closer at your benefits.
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