Planning for open enrollment is becoming a more important exercise for business owners as Baby Boomers give way to Millennials and Gen X, Y and Z staff who have different ideas about what they want in benefits. Here’s a look at what benefits younger employees may value:
Bright and Shiny
Millennials’ concerns about student loan debt have given rise to a student loan repayment benefit. Depending on its design, this benefit can be linked to 401(k) savings, continuing education and more.
Two other newer benefits provide health and financial wellness programs that offer discounts for weight loss, gym memberships and counselling about how to pay for expenses and save for various goals.
Discount programs on everything from vacations to dry cleaning and benefits growing in popularity like pet insurance, flexible scheduling and family planning could also be part of your package. And don’t forget about the staples. Employees of all ages look for health insurance. Add a Health Savings Account if you offer a high-deductible health plan. Also remember the universal needs for a retirement plan, disability income insurance and life insurance.
Creating a Strategy
Before choosing benefits, you’ll need to create a benefit plan strategy to fully understand what your employees need. Start by surveying them on paper, online or in person. Ask them which benefits they value in order of importance.
Next, establish a communications plan that includes easy-to-understand information about each benefit and contact information for employees who have questions. Communications may involve in-person meetings, print collateral, online access and even smartphone apps.
Your benefits are only as good as employees and job prospects perceive them to be, so do what you can to ensure their value is fully recognized and understood. The right benefit package can be the difference between you or your competitors attracting and retaining the best talent.