It is undeniable that technology is streaming into the HR space. Mobile technology has become such an integral part of our lives. We use our smartphones for everything from paying bills, to researching restaurants, to connecting with friends and co-workers, so why should benefits be any different?
Recent research showed usage increasing for mobile devices with nearly 78 percent of consumer interactions occurring on them (Fluent, 2016). In addition, the Millennial generation overwhelmingly prefers communicating via mobile technology. When developing HR and benefit strategies it is imperative that we pay attention to the needs of Millennials as 1 out of every 3 workers today belongs to this generation and by 2025 Millennials are expected to comprise nearly 75 percent of the global workforce(The Brookings Institution, 2014).
Let’s face it; Millennials interact with the world through their smartphones. This has changed the way people access information. Instead of focusing on storing an endless stream of knowledge in their memory banks, Millennials know where to find this information and smartphones are the source of that connection. This has become ingrained–Millennials rely on mobile devices for a higher understanding of the world, which includes relating with their employers and benefits.
Another fact that cannot be ignored about the Millennial workforce is that they are a challenge to retain. While their presence in the workforce is well known, their longevity with any one employer is not. In fact, a 2016 study showed that “66 percent of Millennials express a desire to leave their organizations by 2020” (Deloitte, 2016). With the cost of recruiting and training new employees ever soaring, retaining Millennials is of paramount importance to most employers.
"Marry mobile technology to a tailored benefits package - and a highly engaging benefits mobile app is born!"
Furthermore, the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that Millennials are less likely to know about their benefits and that “participation in various employee benefit programs is generally lower among Millennials than among Baby Boomers and Gen Exers”. Although Millennials may not have a thorough understanding of benefits, they do understand life events. Millennials are far more likely to access their benefits when they are experiencing a life event such as marriage, buying a home, navigating an illness, etc rather than accessing them for planning purposes or just gaining a general benefits overview.
The question becomes what does all this mean for the HR industry? Well, clearly the first step to retaining Millennials is to communicate with them via mobile technology. In order to attract and retain Millennial employees, you must provide them with a customized benefit package, via a mobile app, that meets their individual needs and responds to their life events! Research supports that our modern workforce, including Millennials, feels that “benefits that can be customized to meet their needs, would increase their loyalty to their employers” (MetLife, 2016). Marry mobile technology to a tailored benefits package - and a highly engaging benefits mobile app is born!
How pressing is the need for a benefits mobile app to engage your Millennial workforce? A recent study found that a “desire for mobile communication among employees” for benefit information is clearly on the rise (MetLife 2015). Employees are increasingly eager to usea mobile app to manage benefits, access benefit enrollment information, and for gaining benefit awareness (MetLife 2015).
The bottom line is that you really don’t have a choice–if you want to connect your employees to your benefits you must have them available via a mobile app. If benefits are not available via mobile technology, there is a good chance you will miss out on engaging the largest percentage of your workforce. It’s time to bridge the generational gap in benefit understanding and communicate benefit information using the technological tools preferred by Millennials with a benefits mobile app! The result will be an engaged, productive, and loyal workforce.