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Can companies deliver benefits for an age-diverse workforce?

Posted by: ADP on 1 August 2016 in Benefits

Employees are individuals first, with different values and expectations in terms of professional career and private life. The days of offering a company car or a performance bonus are long gone for many reasons. Even if you could afford to, not all employees would want the car (“I would be happy with an eco-electric bike please”); while health and wellbeing options could in fact boost motivation and performance, almost as much as a bonus.

One of the most daunting challenges employers face is how to manage an age-diverse workforce. And nowhere is this shown more clearly than in benefits packages.

The list of benefits that employees are demanding is getting longer and longer, and employers can’t keep up. As the number of Generation Z employees (born 1995 or later) entering the workforce grows and Millennials (born 1981 or later) move into leadership roles, employers must offer benefits that suit differing tastes.

Every successful company needs to create an effective benefits policy with economy of scale wherever possible; yet employees and managers are demanding a more personalised benefits structure that meets their needs as an individual. And as we all know, with Millennials a good benefits policy is vital to attract them and keep them happy.

The juggling act employers have to perform, therefore, is to offer benefits that are both flexible and harmonised: that’s not just juggling, but juggling with one hand. Standing on one leg. On top of an elephant. Simply providing a long list of benefits to try and please everybody means that you’re setting yourself up for an admin nightmare, especially if you don’t have the software and logistical support to back it up. Instead, you need to automate and integrate your benefits administration within a safe and centralised digital environment – like the circus act, it’s a skill that most employers are just not trained for.

Take commission-based pay. It’s one of the easiest benefits to understand – if you meet your targets, you are rewarded accordingly. However, a survey of sales directors found that companies are losing large sums of money due to woeful in-house processes.1 Almost a quarter of companies surveyed said they regularly saw errors of over 10% of the total commission paid, 20% said they didn’t even know what errors occurred, and over 52% admitted they regularly had to deal with queries and complaints from the sales force. So what’s supposed to be a benefit ends up being costly, hard to keep track of, and has employees from different generations complaining about it!

A harmonised benefits process instead looks the same, works the same, and can be easily accessed across your whole business by employees and managers. And it has become an absolute necessity!

A single software solution can streamline employee eligibility, benefit calculation, communication, and workflow management, within a safe and centralised digital environment.

We know that young employees (and even more often the senior ones!) increasingly want to take control of their benefits. They want a menu of benefits options tailored to meet their needs and life stages, and they want to be able to access them on the mobile and tablet, wherever they are, whenever they need to.

Using the cloud to centralise those benefits is now a business priority. A recent Talent Trends Survey found that HR leaders want to share information better through online communities and social networks, with 50% saying they plan to invest resources in the next 12-24 months.2 The best form of investment is to get the experts in and work with an outsourced provider. If you’re not planning to invest, then you need to do so fast, before your competitors do.

To learn more how to use employee benefits as an engagement and recruitment tool for an age-diverse workforce, read ADP’s latest report “Benefits: The Forgotten Strategy to Engage Employees and Boost Revenue”


  1. Vanson Bourne OpenSymmetry (2014), Commission Survey
  2. Randstad (2016), Talent Trends Report
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TAGS: age-diverse workforce baby boomers benefits employee rewards Generation Z millennials

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