4 Ways to Overcome Generation Gap Communication Challenges

Multi Generation Communication

With employees’ ages ranging from 20s to 60s, each worker faces different challenges during different stages of life, and benefits is one of the highest concerns on everyone’s mind. For benefits managers, this becomes a challenge, as the needs of a millennial (making ends meet) differ greatly from those of Boomers (having stability after retirement).

You’re not alone. This happens to benefits managers across the country. You need to be able to communicate differently to workers in each stage of life, tailoring plans and meeting the needs of everyone from entry level to the C suite.

To help benefits managers better stand up to the challenges faced in communication and customization, BenefitsPro recently shared four challenges and how to overcome them:

Differing Priorities

There is an obvious gap between early career and late career health priorities, highlighted by statistics from Guardian:

Early Career

  • Making Ends Meet (92%)
  • Job Security (88%)
  • Achieving Work-Life Balance (85%)
  • Reducing Debt (79%)
Near Retirement

  • Having Adequate Health Insurance (94%)
  • Accumulating Sufficient Retirement Savings (93%)
  • Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle (90%)


To address this, BenefitsPro recommends tailored communication and relevant education for each work stage.

For more information, see the following:

Young Invincibles: Underinsured and Inadequately Saving

As early career employees work to pay down debt, three notable trends persist: They are less likely to have disability insurance, life insurance, or a 401(k) than their near-retiree peers.

Early Career Near Retirement
Disability Insurance 54% 67%
Life Insurance 61% 85%
401(k) 66% 88%


The answer, according to the article, is increased access to education, becoming a trusted source for financial advice. A key goal for early career employees is to find a trusted source for advice, with 7 out of 10 who say that finding a trusted source of financial advice is a highly important goal.

Differing Enrollment Preferences

With more experience doing so, near retirees find it much easier to enroll in benefits than their early career peers, with 85% of near retirees finding it “very easy” to sign up for benefits, compared with just over two-thirds of younger employees.

To make benefits enrollment easier, BenefitsPro recommends an online enrollment platform. Those who are able to enroll online are more likely to feel their benefits positively contribute to their overall financial security. And most workers (75 percent) feel it’s important to receive benefits information online.

An Uphill Communication Battle

There is an effectiveness gap between benefits professional communications and employee reception, with only 18% of employees finding that communication is extremely effective.

While tailoring benefits communication to different employee segments is seen as an important goal by one-third of employers, only 13 percent are currently producing communications for targeted audiences.

The majority of employees—including both early entrants and near-retirees—feel more can be done to educate them on financial planning and how to reach their goals.

The answer: Outsourced enrollment.

One way that companies can enhance the success of their enrollment and communication strategies is to outsource enrollment activities to carriers, brokers, or enrollment firms. While most plan sponsors want to help their employees make better benefits decisions, some employers may not view tailoring benefits offerings and communications as a high priority, given the many other challenges they have to manage in today’s benefits environment.

Learn more using the resources below:

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