Generational Differences

Oct 14, 2014

Clients will ask me from time to time, if they can add some element of choice within their benefit programs. To understand why choice is such a frequent topic, we need only to look at the demographics of the workforce in Canada at the present time.  The workforce is currently made up of four different generations: the Veterans or Mature Workers, the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. The old cookie cutter or canned approach of a ‘one size fits all’ program may have worked for the Baby Boomer population and possibly even the majority of Generation X, but not so much for Generation Y. Currently, Generation Y makes up approximately 29% of the total workforce and the percentage is growing steadily, while the Boomers represent 32% of the working population and the percentage is in decline as this generation retires.

Flexibility is important to Generation Y in all aspects life, and especially with regards to employment. As Generation Y begin to dominate more of the workforce, they are slowly dictating how they want their benefits to look and this includes some form of choice. Although a true flex program is intended for larger organizations due to a number of factors, including the amount of administration required and the potential for anti-selection, there are a number of modular approaches that can be made available to smaller firms.  The day where only large corporations offer flex plans is over as many smaller organizations are finding ways  to implement such programs.

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