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Generations and compensation: How do we motivate different age groups?


Generations and compensation: How do we motivate different age groups?

Generations and compensation: How do we motivate different age groups?

Many people ask themselves the question of how to think about benefits and compensation to motivate different age groups. And of course, the choice of benefit can vary between different age groups because benefits are often designed to meet the specific needs and priorities of employees at different stages of their careers and lives.

How do we motivate different age groups?

As people get older, we also work longer hours than ever before. In workplaces, there are therefore more generations than before who have to collaborate and share work tasks. This of course also applies to benefits and compensation. So how do you as an employer adapt to an age range of employees that can differ by as much as 45 years, or more, from the youngest to the oldest?

Desires for benefits and wellness differ between different generations, and the first step to creating a good range of benefits is to look at which employees are within the organization. Do you have a lot of recent graduates, young adults who have recently entered the job market? How many are parents of young children and how many experienced workers nearing retirement age do you have? By reviewing the demographics of the business, it becomes easier to select different types of benefits. At the same time, it is important to remember that there are many popular benefits that overlap different age groups more than you might think. Therefore, also make sure to ask your employees what type of benefits or compensation they are interested in.

Older generations:

  • Stability and loyalty are often the watchwords when it comes to the older generation. And the veterans in the labor market also know what they want and what they need.
  • Technology? Well, not always… Not everyone in the older generation is used to or understands new technology as younger generations are. Many prefer face-to-face meetings rather than zoom calls or conference calls. Being able to buy home computer equipment and an ergonomic chair to be able to zoom from home may be offers that the younger generations appreciate more.
  • Gradual retirement. Leaving directly on retirement day is no longer the norm, but today many in the older generation prefer to retire gradually through reduced working hours, or part-time work. Here, communication and responsiveness are especially important to be able to adapt working hours and tasks in a way that preserves important knowledge within the company.
  • Wellness. The older generation is often less interested in gym memberships and taking a spinning session before work than younger generations are, but they are happy to use the wellness allowance to, for example, play golf or get a massage. Therefore, make sure to have a wide range of health care that suits employees of different ages and with different needs, so that everyone can find a physical activity that suits them.

Younger generations

  • Flexibility and mobility. The younger generations often value flexibility in their working hours and mobility in terms of where they will carry out their work. And the desire to work from home a few hours or days a week has increased significantly in recent years. Being able to flex your working hours has been popular for a long time – above all among parents of small children who otherwise find it difficult to make the puzzle of life fit together. Flextimes, the possibility to work from home, ergonomic office equipment for the home and good prices on technology are just a few examples of what you can offer employees in the younger generations for a more flexible working situation.
  • Professional development. Being able to develop within your role and learn new skills is something that is positive both for employees and the business, as the company gets the opportunity to develop skills and retain its talents – and can thus avoid unnecessary costs for new recruitment. Employees, in turn, feel appreciated and loyalty to the company increases. In other words, developing the skills of the staff is always a win-win. Therefore, review which skills need to be developed and offer your employees a varied range to choose from.

Benefits for the future

Many benefits overlap and are highly valued by several age groups. Areas such as environmental issues, sustainability and volunteer work are newer types of benefits, which are appreciated by employees of all ages. Being able to do voluntary work on paid working time has become increasingly in demand.

Pension issues and health insurance are perhaps primarily associated with the older generation, but younger people are also interested in their future finances. Pension benefits can therefore be a popular offer to its employees, even if the company currently has a younger workforce.

Do you need to adapt benefits according to generations?

It is important to remember that benefits should be fairly distributed and accessible to all. As an employer, it can be a great advantage both in terms of recruiting new and retaining talent if you adapt your range of benefits to your employees’ needs. At the same time, it is above all individual preferences, the industry you are in and the specific organization that play a big role in which benefits are popular. Happy and healthy employees are more committed to their work, and something that helps along the way is well-thought-out benefits and compensation.


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