Millennials and Workplace Benefits: Health and Wellbeing

Thinking about Millennial Wellbeing? Most of us are.

The roughly 80 million Millennials (individuals born between 1982 – 1997) are currently the generation-majority of workers in the U.S. By 2025, Millennials will make up three-quarters of the global workforce.

As a result, employers are looking for ways to hire, engage, and retain the Millennial workforce. One way in which employers are tackling this is through paying extra attention to the health and wellness piece of the puzzle. Employers are expanding the understanding of wellness to be more of an overall issue of mental, emotion, social, financial, and physical health. Being “healthy” no longer means “not sick” but rather it’s a daily commitment to emotional balance, social interaction, eating right and being active.

So, the big question now becomes: How do we engage Millennials in health and wellbeing practices that they enjoy?

1. Know Your Audience

Creating a wellness program targeted towards the needs and wants of Millennials is important. Younger employees seek flexibility, convenience, and power over their choices. Many Millennials are placing lower priority on medical care and low-deductible health plans and are instead focusing on daily exercise, group classes, and healthy eating in the hopes of avoiding a trip to the doctor. Offering cafeteria-style plans are more appealing to younger workers as it allows them flexibility and control over their choices.

2. Make it Easy and Convenient

Removing hurdles to helping employees create and retain healthy habits should be easy and convenient. The Millennial generation is all about immediate gratification and quick decision-making. By offering wellness program options that are accessible via technology, such as a Smartphone app, employees will have items at their fingertips that will assist with tracking, information gathering, or friendly motivational competitions.

3. Make it Competitive

Who doesn’t love a good challenge, possibly with a cash reward at the end? By engaging employees in friendly, motivational competitions such as walking or nutritional challenges it will allow for immediate gratification at the completion of a challenge. This approach helps motivate and engage participants while also assisting employees to work together and provide encouragement to one another.

4. Be Flexible

One of the most important aspects of engaging Millennials is flexibility. Flexibility comes in all shapes and sizes, but it is important to figure out what is important to your employees and build processes from there. For example, are flexible working hours important so employees can make it to a group cycle class? Are employees more productive in the evening hours? Providing cafeteria-style benefits allow employees to have control over their benefits based on their individual wellness situation.

Interested in learning more about engaging your people? Read about what makes for a great company culture.

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