Communicating with Millenials about Benefits

Posted on Friday, June 14, 2019

Younger workers we also refer to as "the Millenials" are now in the work force en masse. They are perhaps the most accessible generation of workers we've had in a long time — if you know how to reach them. They aren't much on reading memos posted in the break room, though — and e-mail is old hat to them.

The Kids Are Alright

To fully engage with the Millenial labor force, you may need to adjust the way you communicate with them. They do value benefits. But you need to communicate in some different ways in order to help them appreciate their value.

What considerations need to be taken in order to acclimate to the new cohort of employees?

Millenials value benefits. But of all your employees, they are the least likely to file a health insurance claim -- and the least likely to actually sign up for optional benefits.
They are likely to lack sufficient life and health insurance. Older generations made buying life insurance a priority. Younger workers expect to get this from their employer.
They value personal communication, rather than mass-mailings, mass e-mails, etc.
 While they are big consumers (they enjoy smart phones, tablets and video game systems), they have not been as successful in saving money or landing stable employment as previous generations did at that same age. Much of that is due to the weaker job market and a newly globalized economy. Some of it is, certainly, due to cultural factors as well.
Younger workers are more likely to ask friends and family members for information than older workers are.
Curiously, Millenials are less likely to search for information on benefits on Internet forums than older workers.

Opportunities for Benefits Communication

So far, research with this cohort of workers indicates that there are several ways HR managers can become more effective at reaching them – and building more perceived value in the company's benefits package. These steps include:

Counsel and mentor your workers one-on-one, leader to employee.
Go multi-media. Use multiple ways of communicating, including e-mail, social media, and print pieces.
Try video messaging, through YouTube and intranet media.
Make content as engaging and interactive as possible.
Maximize the use of infographics.

The bottom line – if you're relying on posting memos on a clipboard by the snack machine in the break room, or the same old tired corporate newsletter you've been publishing for 30 years, you're probably not reaching your millennial employees. They're used to being able to access information digitally, on demand. And many of them are migrating away from legacy e-mail programs and doing their communication via social sites like Facebook. Consider posting needed benefits information and updates via a Facebook page… but be willing to migrate to the next media if Facebook goes the way of MySpace.

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