Each generation of American society has its own unique quirks, from the manner in which members of that generation communicate with one another to what dreams or goals they collectively share as a group. Today's leading generation, Millennials, are not enamored with homes and cars. Many still live at home while trying to figure out the best living arrangement. Millennials have their own means of communicating effectively with one another. How as business owners do we communicate with Millennials?
According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2015, Millennials now account for the greatest percentage of employees in the US labor force. Some 53.5% of the workforce is now comprised of Millennials, compared to 52.7% for Gen X-ers and 44.6% for Baby Boomers. With so much riding on this new generation, it might be time to tweak how your company communicates with Millennials in its ranks regarding items such as employee benefits.
If your company has yet to take advantage of the tech-savvy nature of Millennials, there is no time like the present to do so. In order to effectively communicate the information on available benefits to your Millennial employees, ditch the printed materials in favor of PDF and other digital documents they can easily access from mobile devices. AdWeek found that 70% of Millennials use smartphones in the bathroom, 51% use them while dining with family, and the vast majority use mobile devices to inform them of health and fitness choices. It is clear that it is time to go digital!
Millennials prefer a less robotic, warmer means of communication in the workplace. Be authentic when you are providing your employees with information. Start by using your name and their first name when speaking with them, and strive to provide information through one-on-one meetings rather than group sessions. This gives them an opportunity to feel that their individual concerns can be heard.
An information gap exists between Millennial employees and Baby Boomers or Gen X-ers. While the latter are well aware of 401(k) plans and other available benefits, Millennials are newer to the workforce and are not as likely to know the ins and outs of various benefit programs.
Be Brief, and Be Fun!
Whenever possible, add humor and personality to your conversations about benefits packages with your Millennial employees. Avoid jargon and unnecessary information; instead seek to keep the conversation light and informative. Personalize your message to Millennials and avoid sounding robotic.
Make Visual Content Strategic
Do you remember we mentioned above that Millennials are tech savvy? Well, they are also visual learners, but not the cheap kind of visuals Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers grew up with. Presenting benefits information to Millennials with visuals is key to helping them understand their options. Create short videos or use GIFs and make the benefit options clear for your Millennial employees.
It is critical that you highlight the savings these benefits can offer your Millennial employees and how it can help their bottom line in life. Unlike other generations, Millennials tend to have immense debt loads. According to CheatSheet.com, citing statistics from Chicago-based Yellowbrick, two-thirds of Millennials have at least one source of long-term debt, and one-third have more than one source. Some 37% of those under 40 in the US have an average student loan debt of $40,000, while the average salary for Millennials is $35,000 or less.
When you are discussing benefits packages you offer Millennial employees, make sure you point out to them what they stand to gain from taking advantage of those offerings.
Remember that your Millennial employees do not operate the same, socially or professionally, as previous generations. As such, in order to effectively communicate available benefits to them, you need to tailor a new approach to their style. For more information, please contact Manhattan Ridge Advisors.