Blog about 2019 businesses containing five generations in one workforce and addressing employee motivations, benefits, communication and management strategies

Five generations, one work force. Employee benefits in 2019!

James Skelton, Senior Recruiter at FMC Global Talent.
James Skelton, Specialist Marketer – Smart Industry at FMC Global Talent.

The workplace is increasingly diversifying to incorporate new personalities, skills and experiences. Change is representative of today’s typical working environment and accommodating individuals needs and contractual requirements has historically been approached without the level of diversification which is appropriate for today’s workforce.

A recruitment process is designed to attract the very best talent in the market and without noticing, many of today’s businesses have built a workforce populated by five generations.

Benefit schemes, technology, salaries and bonuses are becoming increasingly susceptible to criticism by various members of today’s workforce. So what changes to your benefits scheme should you consider without breaking the bank or upsetting a certain generation? How can you address employee motivations and change in 2019?

Employee benefits in 2019

Employee benefits need energizing, particularly as they’re overtaking salaries. Here are some quirky and exciting benefits currently being offered in 2019:

  • No official working hours – work life balance is becoming the most critical influence in keeping employees happy. Flexitime, working from home, 4-day weeks, early-finish Fridays and duvet mornings are benefits which are being commonly implemented in 2019.
  • Holidays – Unlimited holidays, duvet days and birthday holidays are flexible and exciting ways of offering holiday allowances in 2019.
  • Pets – We’ve all read about companies offering 2-weeks “pawternity leave” for new dogs, but office pets are also on the rise!
  • New tech – millennial’s often won’t touch anything pre-2017 – investment in tech is a priority. Upgrading laptops, phones and desk accessories are great incentives to create a modern working environment.
  • Healthy lifestyle – many employees lead a healthy lifestyle – allowing greater time for exercise, onsite health services and mental health support are critical services for employees this year.
  • Training & development – higher education, learning new languages and training courses for personal and professional development are being covered by many businesses.
  • Travel – not everybody wants a flashy company car – car allowances, mileage reimbursements and flexible travel arrangements are increasingly popular. Not to mention the rise of electric and hybrid vehicles and on-site charging points which many companies are now offering.
  • Vacations – In addition, some companies offer holiday benefits such as free vacations, villas, flight upgrades and much more. And if you work for FMC, a cheeky city break in the sun every so often!
  • Food & drink – Fat Fridays and free-food Fridays… there is something about Friday’s which screams food! In addition, some companies allow employees to drink beer and wine on Friday afternoons to begin winding down for the weekend.
  • Rewards system – Personalising rewards, or “hyper personalisation”,  is an agile way of connecting with employees. Tailoring perks and benefits carries meaning. Perkbox and other reward sites are a great way to recognise people!
  • Student loan reimbursement – £9,000 tuition fees in addition to £5,000 maintenance loans per year certainly takes it’s toll on graduates, particularly after 3/4 years. Some companies are supporting their graduates with loan reimbursements.
  • Paid maternity & paternity – Having a baby is one of the most important times in anyone’s life. Increasing the amount of time off and pay during these periods is becoming very important for the latest generation.

Arguably, do today’s businesses need a defined benefits package? Should companies employ a reactive style to addressing employee motivations in 2019? Everybody is different after all!

Communication & management strategy

Increasing the level of touch points with employees through various communication channels will help address their levels of motivation. Without an open dialogue, how can businesses accurately address their benefits scheme?

  • Developing a channel, both verbally and online, for employees to feedback on will improve relations between management and the wider team.
  • Ensuring open communication is ingrained in organisational culture will satisfy existing and future employees. If a companies’ key influencers aren’t demonstrating or endorsing open communication, others will follow suite.
  • Always keep the door open. It’s a cliché, but frequently shutting an office door speaks volumes to employees.

Additionally, a one-dimensional management style is likely fail in today’s workplace. It’s about having more than one hat, more than one personality and offering more than one solution. Adapting to different personalities, perceptions and outlooks. Understanding what motivates employees starts with developing strong relationships throughout the whole business and understand which style certain employees are more receptive to.