Four Generations, One Workforce: Creating a Benefits Program for All

four generations one workforce

Americans live and work longer, leading to a four-generation workforce in different life stages and with differing needs. Creating a benefits package that satisfies their varied needs can prove challenging.

Diverse Needs

In its latest Workplace Wellness Survey, the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) examined financial stressors as well as overall financial, emotional, and physical well-being.

Financial Well-Being

Financial well-being is of moderate to high concern for 28% of younger workers, 37% of middle-aged workers, and 36% of older workers.

  • 61% of older workers cite retirement as their top concern. (Fidelity’s 2023 Retirement Savings Assessment finds that typical American households are on track to save only 78% of their estimated retirement needs.)
  • 44% of younger workers said monthly bills were significant stressors, with another 19% reporting concerns with student loan debt. 
  • 17% of middle-aged workers have financial concerns about their child(ren)’s college tuition, with 12% concerned about child and/or parental care.

Emotional Well-Being

Emotional and mental well-being are of moderate to high concern for 28% of younger workers, 31% of middle-aged workers, and 21% of older workers.

  • Over 80% of employees aged 35–49 believe that employers are responsible for their workers’ mental and emotional health, compared to 74% of those aged 21–34 and 73% of workers aged 50–64.

Physical Well-Being

Physical well-being is of moderate or high concern to 24% of younger workers, 32% of middle-aged workers, and 22% of older workers.

  • A whitepaper by UnitedHealthcare found that millennials and their children are higher healthcare system users than other generations, with significant rates of chronic conditions and pregnancy.

How can employers support these differences?

The HAC/UHG whitepaper suggests ways to encourage better employee health while minimizing future medical costs. 

  • While employees may have access to an Employee Assistance Program, some will need more help. Emotional/mental health is crucial to employee productivity. Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts (FSAs and HSAs) can help pay for counseling therapy, psychological and psychiatry services, and prescription medications.
  • FSAs and HSAs can also help with disease prevention efforts and lifestyle modification programs to delay or manage chronic conditions.
  • FSAs and Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSAs) may offer employees exercise, fitness, and nutritional resources. For example, the Health Action Council has a Step It Up program to encourage fitness and combat obesity
  • LSAs can also be used to help fund employee needs for retirement planning services, budgeting classes, etc.

Benefit Options Can Make a Big Impact

An age-diverse talent pool brings a wealth of perspective and experience. But it also challenges employers to build a robust benefits package that meets the needs of all. In addition to offering multiple health coverage options, accounts like FSAs, HSAs, and LSAs can help companies meet the well-being needs of their workforce.

For 40 years, DataPath has been a pivotal force in the employee benefits, financial services, and insurance industries. The company’s flagship DataPath Summit platform offers an integrated solution for managing CDH, HSA, Well-Being, COBRA, and Billing. Through its partnership with Accelergent Growth Solutions, DataPath also offers expert BPO services, automation, outsourced customer service, and award-winning marketing services.

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