Organizations now have as many as five generations in their workforce. That possible 50-year-span between oldest and youngest employees can be challenging for HR professionals charged with providing incentives, rewards and enticing benefit packages to both attract and retain valued employees.
Rachel Aleknavicius’ article in BenefitsPro.com outlines four important tips for communicating with our multi-generational workforces.
- The real value of tailored benefits packages
Make sure you are communicating what you are doing. A recent Barclays study reports that six out of ten employees rate a comprehensive benefits package at the top of their list when looking for a new job, yet 85 percent felt that their current employee benefits packages failed to provide the support and flexibility required to meet present and future financial needs.
A new 2015 Workplace Benefits Report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch indicates that 68 percent of HR professionals believe that baby boomers value financial wellness more than any other generation, yet only one in five large firms indicated they utilize targeted communication for specific generations.
- Closing the generation gaps
Use a multi-channeled approach to stay accessible to all employees. To address such a broad spectrum of needs and concerns, many companies are trying to get as personal and relevant as possible in order to reach people where they are rather than from where employers think they may be. Passive enrollment, which has been the status quo, will no longer suffice because it lacks the educational component people need in order to understand what is at stake and how it will impact their lives.
- Learning styles
Key considerations when designing a marketing and messaging campaign include more than just generational differences. Learning style, point of view, and communication preference are equally important. The Macrothink Institute suggests that people learn primarily through one of three distinct means: visual (30 percent), auditory (25 percent), and kinesthetic (15 percent), with some 30 percent learning through a mixture of these. Most people, however, possess some visual learning skills, as the brain processes images much fast than text. So this is an easy way to effectively incorporate subject matter or key takeaways.
- Targeting messages
Find common ground and speak to a person’s point of reference. Experts agree that optimal engagement is no longer possible without understanding the age demographics of its employees. Marketing to a multi-generational workforce with a thoughtful and targeted approach has the potential to not only increase engagement but also give an organization the competitive advantage it needs to stay ahead in today’s global market.