While the average age in any workplace might not fluctuate too markedly over time, that is not to say that the overall outlook of employees stays constant.
To put this another way, a business might have had a large number of employees aged 30 to 55 in 1995. They might have a very similar proportion now, however, those 30 to 55 year olds are very different.
In 1995, this would have been people born mostly in the 1950s and 60s, some born just a year or two after the Second World War.
Now, though, the group will include those born throughout the late 1970s, into the 1980s and even creeping into the 90s.
The whole life experience of these groups is very different. The education will be different – many more now having been to university, the level of technological sophistication also markedly different (if we may generalise).
This divergence creates problems with regard to workplace benefits. There can be an assumption that the same benefits remain relevant and there is no requirement to review the suite of benefits offered. However, to have this approach can lead to becoming uncompetitive in terms of benefits, your business less appealing than rivals when talented potential new recruits are job hunting.
To tackle this changing workforce, there is no requirement to know your Gen X from your Gen Y, Millennials or any other label given to those born in certain periods.
Instead, the requirement is to really think about those you employ and also those you might like to employ. If, for example, you want to be picking up quality recruits maybe just five years on from university, what benefits will they want? Would a 25-year-old today want the same things as a 25-year-old 20 years ago or when you were 25? Perhaps not.
The benefits you are able to offer will of course also depend on the nature of your business.
Many people now value an ability to work from home, at least some days per week, but that might not be at all appropriate given your line of work. (and we are speaking in general here, divorced from current global healthcare concerns that are enforcing working from home).
It can be very difficult for those implementing workplace benefits at any company to think of everyone’s needs. As such, some employees might be super served, others gain nothing from benefits.
We have seen workplaces where all benefits are focussed on those who have active, sporty lives and want to get fit – gym membership and cycle to work schemes for instance. These are great benefits and should be a staple but they are not suitable for all. The parent who has no time for the gym and has to drive to work as they rush off for the school run gains nothing.
Equally, other workplaces focus just on families – workplace nursery schemes, medical and dental insurance packages that cater to families, but nothing of great interest to those university graduates they’re hoping to attract.
We suggest getting an expert in. You would probably expect us to suggest that, but it does have great benefit.
By working with a workplace benefits provider you gain the expertise of someone who has done this for many companies, helping to set up benefits perfectly suited to the needs of both existing employees and those the company would like to recruit.
The burden is also removed from your staff members, the workplace benefit providers setting up the schemes and ensuring their smooth running. For the employer the burden should be next to zero with benefits managed through an online hub, while there are significant financial benefits through NI reductions.
There is no one-size fits all approach to workplace benefits, what is required is a suite of benefits that appeals to all and has something for everyone. Some benefits will be better used than others, but this matters little, they remain there, in the background, on offer to those who wish to take advantage.
If you want to set up benefits that appeal to your staff today and your staff of tomorrow, please get in touch for an obligation-free conversation.