Benefits for a multi-generational workforce

In a diverse workforce, each generation has a different set of priorities, which presents unique employee benefits challenges for organisations.
By: | November 3, 2018


About the Author
Lim Teen Li is a Director at L’Tria, an employee benefits platform.

Dynamics within the workplace today have evolved due to the changing education landscape and the raise in retirement age, multiple generations are now a common sight within a single company.

A report by Randstand on global employment trends shows that 85% of employees in Singapore are already working in a multigenerational team in Q2 of 2018.

Despite this, we know that many companies still find it a challenge to manage the dynamics of a multigenerational workforce.

Many local and regional organisations fail to offer their employees a choice, diversity and flexibility with their corporate benefit packages and still adopt an ‘old school’ approach of what employee benefits should entail – buying basic healthcare insurance and assuming it is sufficient to meet the needs of all their employees.


We are all not quite the same

From the Baby Boomers, the Gen X and the Millennials, every demographic group has their own unique set of needs and concerns and a ‘one-size-fits’ all approach will not suffice.


Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are still a common sight in Singapore’s workforce with the retirement age at 67. These employees with a wealth of experience are often found still active in their respective jobs and constantly contributing to their companies in various ways.

While they still play a vital part to the workforce by bringing to the table their knowledge accumulated over the years, their needs have changed and a benefit package that is more focused on specialized medical coverage will be what is key for them.



Generation X

Those belonging to the category of Generation X will usually find themselves needing to leverage the most from their employee benefits package.

Often those in this category are concerned about childcare, and at the same time, may also need to care for aging parents.

Work-life balance and additional childcare coverage options are some of the things that may be at the top of their minds.

Due to a packed schedule, both at work and at home, often their own health may be neglected and have taken a back seat as they put their loved ones first.

By including healthcare screening, vision care and dental coverage in the benefits package, it can serve as a way for companies to look out for them in ensuring their own state of health is in good condition.




Fresh to the workforce, the concerns of the millennials revolve mostly around career advancement and personal development, at the same time, with the most basic need of healthcare insurance options in mind.

They are usually looking to adopt healthy and sustainable lifestyles, thus a strong preference on wellness and health memberships to stay in shape and ensure to be in good health.

Most often they may even have training programmes and educational courses in mind, so as to further develop and strengthen their skills and knowledge which may be key aspects in their career development.

hGranted, it is almost impossible and not feasible for employers to provide a benefits package that rich, whereby it can meet every single need of each demographic.

It is certainly clear that there are different priorities for each demographic. Identifying key concerns from each group will be vital in creating the well-tailored benefit packages to better suit each generation’s demand.

Flexibility in benefit packages will therefore be essential.

Employees who realise they can rely on their own personal health insurance should have the option of opting out of traditional insurance selections and enjoying other benefits such as wellness packages or corporate mobile plans where it is much suited to their needs.

Employees who are looking to further value add to their health insurance can look into the possibility to buy up and improve their current coverage. The options are plentiful, and it depends on the needs of the employees.


Benefits to not just employees, but companies as well

Every demographic group has their own unique set of needs and concerns and a ‘one-size-fits’ all approach will not suffice.

Widely known to everyone, employee benefit packages are a core component in any job, alongside career development opportunities, salary packages and other key aspects.

As a contributing factor to the level of job satisfaction and work productivity, having employees satisfied with a flexible benefit package can translate to many benefits for the companies.

Employees will have a greater reason to be satisfied with their jobs and be more productive with their work.

More than just the productivity perks it provides with the company, what it translates for employers is essentially employee retention.

When employees are happy with the benefits and their work, talent retention is natural and the tendency for them to stay loyal to their companies will be higher.


Now and ahead with employee engagement

The current landscape in Singapore and the region is seeing a shift in traditional corporate benefits with a greater demand for flexible benefit packages.

A recent study by Willis Tower Watson Asia Pacific Benefit Trends shows that despite 63% of employers recognising the value employees place on benefits packages – while in reality, only 45% agree that they do meet their needs.

Employees have felt a lack in choices and have called for greater diversity and flexibility in putting together benefit packages.

It is however noteworthy to see that employers are recognising this and have started implementing flexible benefit packages in Singapore and the region.

What was once an uncommon sight and only present in the western countries, is now beginning to find a foothold in local and regional workplaces today.

We definitely can expect companies to be focusing more on their employee engagement in health and well-being within the next 3-5 years and that this in turn will result in greater flexibility and engagement with employees.