Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Which explains why HR and benefits executives are faced with a difficult challenge. With more and more Baby Boomers nearing or over retirement age, how do you keep that accumulated wisdom within your company for as long as possible?
One way is to let Boomers feel appreciated on the job. To do that, it pays to answer the question: What company perks really matter to Baby Boomers?
Boomers are working longer
Born between 1946 and 1964, many Boomers have retired. But those on the trailing edge are still in their 50s and have up to 15 years of productivity left. In fact, Gallup reports that 80 percent of these younger Boomers are still hard at work. What’s more, many may not retire when expected.
Executive Benefit News reports 36 percent of Baby Boomers have worked past 65 because they enjoy their jobs or want to stay involved. Another factor is the recent financial crisis. With the value of their retirement accounts diminished, nearly 50 percent of Boomers plan on staying on the job past 65.
Millennials and Generation X are likely to be more technologically savvy. But don’t discount the experience gained by Boomers at your company or in your industry. It may be hard to replace. Glassdoor counts six reasons to still want Boomers on your team: experience, leadership, a different perspective, credibility, interpersonal skills, and adaptability.
To recruit and retain these talented employees, it helps to know what extras they appreciate in the workplace.
The 2016 Employees Perks Report
To help understand what perks employees most value, Group Health (now Kaiser Permanente) conducted a survey of nearly 1,500 employees across a variety of Washington state industries. Participants were asked to choose their top three perks from among 15 listed. Options included everything from sabbaticals to time off for volunteer work, life coaching to alternative medicine.
Key findings include:
- Baby Boomers seek more control of their work life and ways to stay healthy.
- Boomers would welcome health risk assessments or screenings in the workplace.
- Boomer men prefer a gym membership; Boomer women prefer alternative medicine.