Thinking differently about benefits

By Jeremy Salter, Employee Engagement Lead

How are the changing age demographics of the workforce impacting on employee benefits offerings?

Benefit offerings are struggling to keep up, as one size no longer fits all. Employees need and expect tailored benefits packages, and intergenerational differences in how benefits are valued need to be understood. Baby boomers perhaps represent the last generation to enjoy good pensions, so new generations are entering the workforce needing and wanting to look for benefits elsewhere.

What do you believe Gen Z (those following on from the millennials) will expect in terms of employee benefits?

I believe Generation Z will look beyond traditional compensatory work benefits. They will increasingly look to derive benefit from work itself. Purpose, flexibility, balance, health, progression and recognition represent expectations that are changing the nature of work itself, led by employees more willing to co-mingle work and life. To meet new expectations organisations are having to reconsider how work is done. These changes are benefiting all, creating new ways of working that allow older generations to remain in the workforce longer.

Do you see any emerging benefits trends?

Health and wellbeing is an important trend that is being reflected in the work we are doing with organisations, both in Australia and elsewhere around the world.

In Australia we are seeing changes in the way organisations invest in rewards. An increased use of wearable health and activity trackers is generating some interesting debate around data privacy. Our reward communications are increasingly promoting healthier lifestyles as much as particular products. We
are also noticing increased interest in other drivers of wellbeing. Our employee social recognition programs are often discussed as part of broader employee and organisational health strategies. We believe health-related benefits will remain a significant and growing trend that will expand beyond current health-related products and services into healthier ways of working.

How has technology changed how employees access the benefits on offer?

Perhaps the most significant change is an increased awareness of the benefits available. Organisations can now talk to employees about the right benefit, at the right time, in the right way. Technology has increased the ways employees interact with benefits. They now have more choice and control over how their benefit dollars are spent.

First published in Human Resources Director
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This article was first seen on Grass Roots Australia blog

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