Millennials View Wellness Much Differently Than Other Generations

Oct 29, 2019
| The Extensis Team
Millennials and wellness programs

We have written before (actually a few times) about the growing focus on employee wellness and how employers are adjusting to this trend.

Companies big and small are adding wellness resources to help their staff with a wide range of issues, from mental health to financial wellness.

But an important aspect of wellness programs and initiatives that employers must keep in mind is how different generations in the United States view them, such as Millennials.

A recent survey and report from Welltok explored how Millennials view employee wellness as well as the impacts they are having on the industry and employers.
 

Millennials are Changing Wellness and Wellbeing

There’s no denying that Millennials are changing many things today, including wellbeing at work. Data from Goldman Sachs shows that there are 92 million Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) in the U.S., compared to 77 million Baby Boomers and 61 million Gen X’ers.

In addition to being the biggest generation today, they also overtook Gen X in 2016 to be the largest generation in the workforce.

For their Millennials: Raising the Bar for Wellbeing survey, Welltok surveyed over 1,000 American workers with 330 being Millennials.

The survey results first show the top 8 ranked health priorities for Millennials:
 
  • Financial stability
  • Positive relationships
  • Healthy eating
  • Appropriate levels of physical activities
  • Manageable stress levels
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Finding a higher purpose
  • Manage existing health conditions

The survey also took a closer look at four of the biggest areas of wellness (emotional health, social health, financial health, and physical health) and how different generations want support with each.

Not surprisingly, Millennials had the highest percentage for each:
 
  • Emotional: 75% Millennials; 64% Gen X; 45% Baby Boomers
  • Social: 64% Millennials; 48% Gen X; 27% Baby Boomers
  • Financial: 73% Millennials; 64% Gen X; 51% Baby Boomers
  • Physical: 70% Millennials; 66% Gen X; 50% Baby Boomers
 

What Do Millennials Want with Wellness Benefits?

Millennial workers want their employer to help support their wellness and wellbeing efforts. 84% said their manager supports them, but 78% believe their company should do more to help with wellbeing needs.

Something that should concern employers is that just 23% of Millennials strongly agree that they know where to find health resources that are available to them, which can hinder wellness initiatives.

One area in particular that is especially concerning to Millennial workers is stress at work, with more than 40% saying that it is negatively impacting their life.

More concerning for employers, 51% of Millennials said they have considered leaving their employer because of stress at their job.

And 73% said they believe their employer and business leaders should be responsible for helping to manage and reduce stress at work.
 

What Can Employers do to Meet Millennial Expectations?

The last part of the report explored ways employers can meet the expectations of Millennial workers. But the main thing these employees want is personalization.

66% believe that all employees are offered the same resources, and 62% said they have been offered resources that are irrelevant to them.

However, 85% said they would participate in and benefit the most from company programs if they received more relevant health and wellbeing offerings.

Last, Millennials were ask to select the perks and programs that would most motivate and influence them. Here are the top-5 responses:
 
  • Extra vacation time – 64%
  • Wellness benefits – 56%
  • Flexible working arrangements – 53%
  • Raffles for large gifts
  • Employee discounts on goods and activities
 

Understanding the Differences Between Each Generation is Critical for Employers

One of the biggest HR-related challenges facing employers today is talent management, specifically around the multiple generations that make up today’s workforce.

Employers and business leaders need to understand the differences between each generation and how to best manage them.

Studies like this show just how different each working generation can be.

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