HomebusinesshealthAwards and RecognitionbusinesshealthResourcesBlog
The Callery Group
About UsOur ServicesContact Us

Watch the Gaps
Protect against turnover and lost opportunities by recognizing the generation gaps

As a father of two daughters I have experienced the so-called generation gap first hand, and the way we communicate offers a perfect example of what I mean. I may be comfortable with a smartphone, but Samantha and Jacqueline treat the devices like appendages. And while I still default to phone calls and emails, they are more likely to tap a text.

Generational differences are hardly limited to households or electronics. Today's workplaces face gaps of their own, particularly as retiring Baby Boomers - those born in the post-war prosperity between 1946 and 1964 --  are replaced by members of generations X and Y.

Employers who respond to the differences between these demographic groups have a competitive advantage when looking to attract and retain the younger employees who represent the future of their organizations.

The fact that these differences exist is nothing new. Attitudes of a demographic group have always been shaped by shared experiences. Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980, developed its views about work when the promise of a job for life began to disappear. After watching parents lose careers despite decades of service, they adopted an approach of working to live rather than living to work. And Generation Y, born between 1981 and 2000, honed its skills in an era of electronics and social media. To its members, connections and discussions have always been just a click away. There should be little surprise that they expect feedback more frequently than older peers.

Ceridian's 3rd annual Pulse of Talent survey, which studied the attitudes of 800 working Canadians, shows just how dramatic the differences can be. Each generation has different expectations around career paths and rewards, researchers concluded. Employers who fail to adapt to the differences face the challenges of high turnover, lost revenue and missed opportunities alike.

Members of Generation Y were seen to place the highest value on flexible hours or a chance to work from home, but they are also looking to learn from their established peers. Sixteen percent want access to mentoring opportunities. These could be supported by the findings in another Ceridian report, which discovered that 57% of mature employees would like to keep working in some capacity. Fourteen percent of the oldest workers already stay on the job to contribute to society and 11% are looking to stay socially connected.

Employers who configure benefits plans to support the aging employees, retaining them in the workplace, will be in the best position to connect the generations.

The need for mentorships is not limited to Generation Y, either. Thirty-five percent of Generation X employees wanted more training options, and 22% were interested in taking a leadership role. They may simply need more support than they understand.

"Generation X and Y workers are thought to be more than willing to step into senior-level roles that demand delegation and people management, but that doesn't automatically mean they're ready," concluded Ceridian's Second Wind: The Evolving Nature of Retirement. "Mature workers can help develop and shape the supervisory skills of younger workers, and increase their familiarity with the challenges and rewards of managing a multi-generational workforce."

But approaches to compensation may represent some of the biggest differences between the demographic groups, the Pulse of Talent survey shows. While money and wages are always important, 74% of the surveyed members of Generation Y preferred non-monetary performance rewards. In contrast, only 56% of boomers said the same thing. Personal days off was the most popular option across all generations, with about 20% preferring free meals or event tickets. Another valued reward came in the form of technology such as a smartphone or tablet, particularly for members of Generation Y.

The younger group's love of technology can play another role in the business. Forty-one percent of Generation Y said they use social media sites to promote their company. This can generate everything from sales leads to finding new recruits. But 12% of Generation Y employees are also likely to use the same tools to complain about an employer or a bad performance review.

The companies which offer the most welcoming workplaces - strengthened through flexible benefits plans and other support - are in the best position to avoid a threat like that.

As a final note, let me offer you a Happy New Year, with wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2014.

Is there a topic that you would like me to address in a future edition of the Buzz? A burning question about benefits plans that has always been hanging over your head? Let me know. Drop a quick email to billz@callerygroup.com.

Top Tips:

  • Each generation has different expectations in terms of career paths, rewards and communication. Recognizing the differences - and structuring benefits accordingly -- can protect against high turnover and lost business opportunities.
  • 74% of Generation Y members prefer non-monetary performance rewards. Don’t overlook the value of personal days off, free meals or event tickets as retention tools.
  • 16% of Generation Y workers are looking for mentors. Employers can use benefits plans to retain the experienced employees to support this need. After all, 57% of mature workers want to continue working in some capacity.

Copyright Notice

All rights reserved. All of the content herein is the sole property of the Callery Group, and may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in a retrieval system - in whole or in part - without the written permission of the Callery Group. Links to the originating article at www.callerygroup.com are permitted.

The Buzz Bits
Miscellaneous links to interesting benefits information

The Benefits of Benefits: Benefits Canada

You’re Not Covered: CBC Marketplace

Generation Next: Smallbizadvisor – by Bill Zolis

Making the Case for Investing in Mental Health in Canada: Mental Health Commission of Canada

Minding the Gaps -- The Changing World of Travel Insurance: smallbizadvisor

Community Ethics, Big City Expertise

Subscribe to the Buzz Blog

Blog archive

Survey Says: Wellness Programs Improve Overall Satisfaction

It seems that employees' satisfaction with wellness programs spills over into satisfaction with their benefits programs and their jobs in general [more]

Changes Coming to Personal Emergency Leave Laws

Amendments to the Employment Standards Act will significantly increase legally mandated employee leaves [more]

The Good News and the Bad News on Diabetes

We keep hearing about a "diabetes epidemic," but there are things we can do now to improve our odds of beating the statistics [more]

Who's Your "Broker" Working For?

In a world of brokers, agents, advisors and consultants, it's important to stay focused on who's really working for you [more]

The Secret to Really Good Workplace Wellness

Workplace wellness is a way to solve a lot of problems before they even come up [more]

Medical Marijuana - More Questions than Answers

A lack of medical consensus makes drug plan coverage of medical marijuana very difficult [more]

Pharmacogenomics Means Better Prescriptions

A simple DNA test can now help pinpoint which drugs are going to work best for you [more]

Why Airplanes Crash

What one successful CEO learned from air crash investigations – and how it all applies to managing any organization [more]

Not A Delicate Subject Anymore...

How to start the conversation about mental health in the workplace [more]

A Look Inside

There's more to this business that we usually talk about... [more]

Bio What-Now?

Get ready for "generic" biologics. [more]

What You Don't Want to Say to Your Doctor

There are some things that you want to explain to your doctor, and some things you really should stay away from. [more]

Your Dentist's Pet Peeve

Why you should know all the ins and outs of your dental insurance plan before you ever lean back in the chair and open wide [more]

About that Credit Card Travel Insurance

It may be of some value, especially if you have no pre-existing conditions, but you really need to read that fine print [more]

Right Drug, Right Time, Right Cost

Why you should work with your doctor, your pharmacist, and your drug plan to make sure you get optimal treatmenty [more]

Big Smiles

A focus on dental plans will ensure that everyone remains happy [more]

Your Doctor Doesn't Know Everything

When it comes to prescriptions, patients need to be part of the conversation [more]

Prescription for Disaster

Advances in pharmaceuticals are threatening your drug plan [more]

Sleep Easy

Conditions like sleep apnea can be treated, ensuring proper rest and productive days [more]

Easy as EAP

Formal support makes a big difference when employees face personal challenges [more]

Well Done

10 ways to develop an effective workplace wellness program [more]

Mind Matters

Businesses can't afford to ignore the mental health of their employees [more]

Brian's Story

Brian Callery is celebrating 40 years in our business. It's a commitment that makes a difference in his clients' businesses [more]

The Benefits to You

The same plans designed to protect employees will also offer advantages to employers [more]

Lawyer Up

There are legal ramifications around changing benefit plans - especially if an employee is being terminated [more]

Travel Trauma

Dream vacations can turn into nightmares when travel insurance claims are denied [more]

Evolution Solution

Evolving benefit plans will meet employee needs and support recruiting and retention efforts [more]

Plan & Predict

How rising paramedical claims, drug reforms, and other trends will affect your workplace benefits [more]

Who Benefits

Education makes the case for workplace benefit plans [more]

Season of Renewal

Important questions to ask your benefits advisor before inking a deal [more]

Preventive Measures

Paramedical services help keep employees healthy, on the job, and productive [more]

A Bounce in Their Step

Canada Rubber Group employees are embracing their new wellness program [more]

Business Benefits

Shandex Group and Indaco Manufacturing discuss the value of evolving employee benefits plans [more]

A New Mindset

Workplaces can't afford to ignore the mental health of employees [more]

Cost Cutters

10 cost-cutting strategies to protect your benefits plan [more]

Safe Travels

12 ways to protect yourself on your next vacation [more]

Breaking News

Learn from the mistakes of an AOL executive when discussing any changes to your benefits plans [more]

Watch the Gaps

Protect against turnover and lost opportunities by recognizing the generation gaps [more]

Generation Next

Generation Y represents the future of your business - and will see workplace benefits plans in a different way [more]

Absent Minded

Employers are paying the price for absenteeism, but it can be controlled [more]

Think Positive

Programs that build positive workplaces make business sense [more]

Back to School

8 important lessons your employees need to learn about benefits plans [more]

Find a Better Broker

6 questions you should ask anyone who wants to sell you a benefits plan [more]

Plan Your ROI

5 ways employee benefits plans can deliver a real Return on Investment [more]

The Benefit of Benefits

3 ways a benefits plan can improve your company's bottom line. [more]

A Healthy Dose of Information

5 questions for your pharmacist that might save your drug plan and your wallet. [more]

Claim Denied

Consider these 8 ways to avoid rejected benefit claims. [more]

Travel Planning

6 questions to ask before assuming you are protected by a group plan's travel insurance. [more]

Biologic Logic

Growing list of biologic drugs could bankrupt poorly protected drug plans. [more]

Smart Shopping

8 shopping habits that will protect your benefits plan. [more]

Tough Medicine

Employees will share more responsibilities and higher costs to sustain their benefits. [more]

Crime Costs

5 scams that could be placing your benefits plan at risk. [more]

A Prescription for Your Drug Plan

Skyrocketing drug prices may be threatening your benefits plan, but generic drugs offer a cure. [more]

Planes, Trains and Travel Insurance

The fine print in your travel insurance may leave you more exposed than you think. [more]

Healthy and Wealthy

5 steps to an employee wellness program that will generate real financial returns. [more]

Avoiding Burnout During Holiday Season

Education and Prevention can help control spiraling benefit costs. [more]

Sweat the Small Stuff

Protect your staff by avoiding these common "paperwork" mistakes by administrators. [more]



Services Personal Services Corporate Services