How can your benefits suit the need of all age groups?


Employers are currently facing a very unique and difficult set of challenges - with the uncertainty of an impending Brexit accompanied by the rate of inflation and wages heading in conflicting directions - business budgets are increasingly being tightened, stretched and restricted.

The UK’s ageing population in addition to some older workers being financially unable to retire at the traditional age, means there is a new reality of a multigenerational workforce. Four generations of people are now at work at the same time, ranging from the age of 16 to over 65 years old.

At the start of 2017, around 31% of the UK’s workforce was over the age of 50; compared to just 22% 10 years ago. Employees across a workforce are likely to be in different life stages with different priorities. This can make it difficult to introduce a benefits package which suits everyone’s wants and needs.

At Simplyhealth, we know there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach to employee rewards and benefits. That’s why we have produced the whitepaper, ‘Addressing the challenges of the 4G workforce’. It’s a useful advice document, explaining the use of flexible benefits to meet the challenges of recruiting, retaining, motivating and engaging employees from multiple generations.

Introducing flexible benefits

Offering flexible benefits provides employees with more control over their benefits package, an approach which is supported by 91% of workers surveyed by Simplyhealth.

Flexible benefits give employees the ability to pick and mix the combination of employer or voluntary paid benefits they are receiving at any one time.

This enables employers to offer a wide range of benefit options to their employees, from gym membership, to healthcare support, through to childcare vouchers, appealing to their workforce’s differing life stages.

Advantages of a fit, healthy and happy workforce

With workplace absence costing an employer on average £522 per employee per year, encouraging and supporting employees to turn up to work is often top of the HR agenda.

Flexible benefits are a great enabler of this, allowing for supportive health and wellbeing benefits to be offered to employees. Health and dental plans deliver prevention before cure, offering easy access to a wide range of health benefits.

If an employee knows they have access to a 27/4 GP services or are able to claim back the cost of dentistry, this may encourage them to be more proactive with their everyday health, rather than ignoring the situation until it becomes a chronic issue.

Private Medical Insurance (PMI), on the other hand, reacts when something goes wrong with an employee’s health. This benefit is typically preferred by employees in more mature life stages; however some younger employees like the security of PMI – ‘just in case’ 

How can employees engage with a flexible benefit package?

However, an employer’s responsibility towards their employees’ health and wellbeing doesn’t start and end just by offering flexible benefits. Employer communication of the scheme is essential to drum up employee engagement. A benefits provider should work in partnership with the business to fully understand and tailor the product offering to suit the needs of their workforce.

At Simplyhealth, we provide marketing and communication materials to help promote everyday health and the benefits of the offering to an increasingly diverse workforce. This often falls in line with topical subjects, such as the positives to get moving during a major sporting event, the importance of an annual dental check-up during oral health month or stop smoking initiatives on non-smoking day.

The future workforce and the future of flexible benefits

The modern workforce has greater expectations to receive a comprehensive benefits offering from an employer, with 82% of jobseekers saying they would turn down a job if it lacked an attractive benefits package.

Flexible benefits allow each employee to create their own benefits package which will complement their lifestyle needs. Not only does this make for a satisfied workforce, but with 66% of employees saying they would be more inclined to stay with an employer who provided good benefits, flexible benefits help businesses to retain talent.

The Simplyhealth white paper, ‘Addressing the challenges of the 4G workforce’, is available to download for free here: