How To Meet the Wellness Demands of the Younger Workforce

Millennials are now the largest generation of workers in the U.S. labor force, with 1 in 3 American labor force participants, or 35% born, between 1981 - 1996. A 2016 Gallup study also shows that this demographic were some of the least engaged of all workers. As the workforce becomes younger, workplace wellness benefits continue to solidify themselves as an expected offering in order to attract and engage existing millennial employees. 

What to know: The definition of “health” for millenials has changed. 

Health is no longer defined by acute care treatment, chronic condition management, or one-on-one doctor’s appointments. Health is now all-encompassing, including physical, emotional, financial, social wellness AND health management. Employees care about managing stress levels, access to mental health resources, and professional development opportunities, tied into their wellness program offering. If employers provided more relevant support in these areas, 85% of employees said they would increase participation in their health and wellness programs. 

Millennials expect employer support. 

Not only do employees expect their company to provide a wellness program or offering, but they also want their support. In fact, 73% of millenials say employers are responsible for helping to manage or reduce their workplace stress, compared to only 64% of Gen Xers & 45% of Baby Boomers. This demographic places a lot of emphasis and expectations on their employers for a total wellness offering. 

Break the mold. 

There’s no longer a cookie cutter approach to wellness initiatives, programs, or offerings. Find a company, like TargetCare, that offers a suite of services that are completely customizable to best meet millennial expectations. Stay adaptive and adhere to their priorities, by frequently surveying employees of all demographics. This will give you a better understanding of what your employees are expecting to get out of their program. While the financial savings are important, focus on meeting their needs first. 

Speak to their concerns.

Millennials ranked their top health and well-being priorities as being: 

  1. Financial stability
  2. Positive relationships at home and work
  3. Healthy eating habits
  4. Appropriate level of physical activity
  5. Manageable stress level
  6. Adequate sleep
  7. Higher purpose
  8. Health condition management

Wellness programs should be working to meet employee health and well-being priorities. TargetCare wellness programs help tackle financial wellness, stress levels, eating habits, and health condition management through our partnerships, engagement programs, health coaching and telemedicine strategies. 

Understand what motivates millennials. 

Focus on encouraging this demographic in ways that work for them. 64% of millennials say they would be motivated by having extra vacation time. 53% of millennials said they would be motivated by having a flexible schedule. 56% of millennials would be motivated in the workplace by having wellness benefits. For this demographic, motivation comes from senior leadership and they are more inclined to engage in wellness programs and workplace offerings if they see C-Suite lead the way. 

Know how to reach your audience.

Cater wellness offerings in a way that will be susceptible. For example, if your workplace is younger, try and find a partner that uses digital efforts including social media. Make wellness offerings easy and convenient. Try adding an element of competition - millennials are the most likely generation interested in friendly competition

Overwhelmingly, millennials are continuing to place an increased emphasis on health and a balanced lifestyle, and demanding their employers keep up. In 2010, only 65% of millennials considered a balanced, healthy lifestyle to be important. In 2020, 77% of millennials felt that way. Continue to stay relevant for millennial employees by understanding what motivates them, their desires, and what “health” looks like to them.