What are the generational differences in employees wants and needs? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Jordan Peace, CEO and Co-Founder of Fringe, in their Session:
I think the greatest generational differences in terms of employee wants and needs comes down to choice. While older employees may be used to prepackaged benefits, millennials and the newest entrants to the workforce, Generation Z, are used to customizing every part of their lives. Just think about how coffee orders have evolved in the last two decades. Small, medium, and large may have been enough choice for coffee drinkers of the past, but today’s customers expect to modify their Starbucks in every way imaginable with different syrups, toppings, and flavors all on their mobile devices. Want to attract and retain young employees? You better figure out how to offer skinny coconut milk chai benefits. No whip.
As young professionals enter the workforce, they will expect the same amount of customization reflected in their workplace offerings. One-size-fits-all benefits offerings just do not register with these folks who expect some degree of choice in every aspect of their lives. However, that is not to say older generations do not appreciate having the option to customize — they just do not expect it outright.
There are also visible generational differences in the kinds of services and goods that will benefit employees at different stages in their lives. Whereas working parents may appreciate parenting and family benefits, single young professionals have more direct and immediate needs. For example, a recent survey of Generation Z Fringe users found that their top services included food delivery, music and entertainment streaming, and monthly razor subscriptions. Enabling employees to self select what kind of benefits will actually enhance their lives is a great practice to maximize the impact of a benefits program. Otherwise, HR leaders may risk offering employees superfluous gestures that do not align with their actual lifestyle needs.
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