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April 2024  Volume 22, Number 4        

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The Personalization Mandate: Tailoring Benefits to Boost Retention

Generation Z is primed to take over as the largest generational group in the workforce. This seismic shift means employers must get creative in how they attract and keep top talent across diverse ages and life stages. One area ripe for a refresh is employee benefits communication and personalization.

Workers Want Better Benefits Guidance

It’s clear that companies are dropping the ball when it comes to properly educating employees on available benefits and customizing offerings to their needs. MetLife's latest Employee Benefit Trends study lays it out: Over half of workers wish for personalized benefit recommendations, while an equal number say their employer could show they care more by improving how they communicate about benefits.

Gen Z Craves Clearer Communication

This cry for better communication is loudest among the Gen Z crowd, with 68% of these young workers wanting ongoing benefits guidance all year long, not just during annual enrolment periods. Over half admit that as newbies to the working world, they don't fully grasp parts of their benefits package.

Meanwhile, their generational colleagues face different hurdles. New parent millennials may need help understanding childcare benefits, while Gen Xers caring for aging parents could use a hand with elder care resources.

Communication Breakdowns Lead to Disengagement

Poor benefits communication has real consequences, experts warn. An Aflac survey revealed that due to subpar guidance on benefits and lack of burnout assistance nearly half of employees don't believe their company truly values them. What's more, research shows HR is communicating less frequently about benefits compared to previous years — a missed opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to employees' overall well-being.

Pay Raises to Meet or Top Inflation

U.S. inflation is forecast to moderate to 2.8% in 2024, but employers aren’t taking any chances. Compensation budgets are ticking up 3.8-4% on average to stay competitive amid a tight labor market. Businesses also want to acknowledge employees’ financial strain after years of lacking wage growth.

Despite robust pay increases, worker buying power still trails pre-pandemic levels. Employers would be wise to monitor market data and make additional base pay or one-time adjustments as needed. Otherwise, top talent may continue jumping ship for higher salaries elsewhere.

The Personalization Mandate

As the labor force evolves, employers can no longer take a one-size-fits-all approach to benefits communication. Personalizing offerings and outreach is key to meeting the diverse needs of a multigenerational workforce.

Tailoring the Benefits Experience

At its core, personalization recognizes that different generations prioritize benefits differently based on their current life stage. Millennial parents may value childcare and fertility offerings, while Gen Xers could appreciate elder care support. Meanwhile, Gen Zers are expressing interest in modern perks like legal aid, identity protection, and pet insurance.

Using Multi-Channel Outreach

Just as benefits needs vary, so do communication preferences across generations. Relying on just one outreach method risks leaving some groups feeling overlooked. The solution? A strategic multi-channel approach designed around each generation's unique communication leanings.

The Business Case for Personalization

Just as benefits needs vary, so do communication preferences across generations. Relying on just one outreach method risks leaving some groups feeling overlooked. The solution? A strategic multi-channel approach designed around each generation's unique communication leanings.

Happier Workers, Stronger Organizations

People who feel truly seen, heard, and valued by their employer are more likely to be invested in their job and loyal to the organization long-term. Tailoring benefits and how they're communicated cultivate that all-important sense of belonging.

In today's hyper-competitive job market personalized benefits and top-notch communications have the upper hand in the Talent War and can tip the scales for companies vying for skilled workers across generations. Organizations that prioritize understanding and meeting diverse employee needs will gain a serious talent advantage.

Retention Savings and ROI

There's also a dollars-and-cents case for prioritizing personalization. Improved benefits utilization and retention can result in significant savings by avoiding turnover expenses like recruiting and training. If done right, personalizing benefits engagement can deliver a hefty return on investment.

The Way Forward

As workforce dynamics constantly shift, companies must adapt their benefits strategie accordingly to attract and keep an engaged, loyal team. Personalizing offerings and outreach is no longer a nice-to-have but an essential part of the overall employee experience.

Actively Listening to Stay Tuned In

Step one is giving employees a voice. Conduct surveys, run focus groups, or leverage employee resource groups to understand your workforce’s diverse benefit needs and communication preferences.

Leveraging Data and Modern Tools

To empower their personalization efforts, companies can also tap into data analytics and communication technologies. Studying employee demographics, benefits usage, and outreach preferences allows for laser-focused, tailored messaging to specific groups.

Continuous Refinement Is Key

At the end of the day, personalization is an ongoing practice, not a one-and-done initiative. Employers should constantly assess the effectiveness of their efforts, gather feedback, and use data to optimize communication strategies as needed.

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In this issue:

This Just In ... The Great PTO Upgrade: Over 80% of Employers Boosting Leave Policies

The Personalization Mandate: Tailoring Benefits to Boost Retention

Prioritize Care While Cutting Costs

Navigating Compensation in the Era of Transparency

Early Cancer Detection Saves Lives, Lowers Costs



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