Employer Considerations For An Increasingly Age-Diverse Workforce

In Business, Employee Benefits, Protection by Tom McGuinness

5 things for employers to consider when managing an increasingly age-diverse workforce.

For employers, offering the right employee benefits can be tricky. After all, today’s workforce is more age diverse than ever, with sometimes five different generations of workers in one company.

Indeed, data from the Office for National Statistics shows that more than 24% of people living in the UK will be aged 65 or older by 2042 – up from 18% in 2016. Add to this the fact that fewer younger people are entering the workforce – the culmination of more wanting to study longer and older workers filling roles historically held by younger workers – and we are looking at the most multi-generational workforce ever.

That’s why a one-size-fits-all employee benefits offering isn’t going to achieve the best results when it comes to engaging, motivating and retaining the best talent.

[Related reading: Why Employers Need To Engage Their Gen X Employees]

So what can employers do to better manage this situation and ensure everyone feels included and valued? Here are five things employers should consider when managing a multi-generational workforce:

1. Embrace age diversity

Age diversity should be embraced because it inevitably makes for a more successful business. Even though employees of different ages will work in different ways, the benefits of a multi-generational workforce should be clearly highlighted. Remember, different generations have different skills and the right mixture of individuals can be especially effective.

2. Never assume

Employers often think they know what their employees want in terms of benefits, remunerations and policies (performance, recruitment, sickness, etc.). But why assume when you can know for certain by conducting polls and provide the kind of things your employees genuinely yearn for.

[Related reading: Private Healthcare As A Benefit Promoted By Three In 10 Job Descriptions Targeting Millennials]

3. Promote a better work-life balance

Younger employees in particular desire a good work-life balance, but older generations increasingly want the same. A reduction in hours, for example, to allow the pursuit of hobbies, or simply a bit more time off to spend with loved ones, can really motivate older employees and show them that their employer is really thinking about their wants and needs.

4. Provide opportunities to learn

Employees of all ages are motivated by the chance to enhance their skills, learn new ones and generally develop themselves professionally. That’s why employers should ensure that all their employees get the same L&D opportunities, regardless of age.

Again, don’t assume what your staff want when it comes to training and development. Ensure your line managers have meaningful conversations with their teams and create L&D plans that are followed through with.

5. Continually communicate and listen

Believe it or not, employees genuinely want to know how the business as a whole is doing in terms of finances, growth, market position, etc. Feed their appetite for information by holding regular update meetings across your organisation.

The best part of all is such meetings do not need to be uniformly delivered across the board. Consider offering employees the option of attending virtually, as well as in person. Different age groups prefer different communication channels, and you can even tailor messages to suit the generation you are talking to.

Looking to offer employee benefits but aren’t really sure where to start? Perhaps you already provide your workforce with benefits but want to switch things up a bit? We can help…

Contact us today and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Tom is the Sales Director for Premier Choice Group. In his role, Tom oversee’s growth across all areas of the business while maintaining a small number of his own clients. At Premier Choice, Tom and the team deliver a unique, personal service to every client, while growing the business and maintaining a strong reputation as the UK’s best intermediary.