In the modern workplace, each generation brings its unique set of needs and preferences. As we and many other observers have previously explored, the millennial and Gen Z cohorts have their distinct desires.
But what about Generation X?
The ‘Sandwich’ Phase
Currently navigating the “sandwich” phase of life, Gen Xers are juggling responsibilities for their aging parents and school-aged children, all while managing their own health and careers. Recognizing this, companies are stepping up, offering benefits tailored to this generation’s unique challenges.
Gen X, those born roughly between 1965 and 1980, find themselves at a pivotal crossroads. As highlighted by Rebecca M. Knight in an article for BBC Worklife, this cohort is in the midst of the “sandwich” phase. Organizations hoping to attract and retain Gen X talent need to be proactive in addressing these challenges.
Tailoring Benefits to Gen X’s Unique Needs
Companies worldwide are recognizing the distinct needs of their Gen X employees. From eldercare benefits to menopause support and health screenings specifically targeted at the 50-plus demographic, businesses are rolling out perks that resonate with midlife concerns.
For instance, cloud software giant Salesforce has introduced an eldercare benefit, while Adobe provides services to assist employees with the university admissions process for their children.
Knight shares input from Peter Bamberger, a professor at the Coller School of Management, who says, “The benefits of providing these services go beyond economics. We’re talking about services that potentially impact one’s children and one’s parents. Organizations are not only providing financial assistance, they’re building a strong emotional connection—they’re showing that they care.”
The Broader Impact of Customized Benefits
While the emotional connection is undeniable, there’s also a tangible benefit for companies. Tailored programs are cost-effective. Research indicates that benefits specifically designed for employees’ needs can significantly impact retention and performance.
Knight points to a Gartner survey indicating that employees are 12% more likely to leave their jobs if their companies don’t establish explicit hybrid work norms.
Benefits as a Symbol of Care and Value
As the workplace continues to evolve, so, too, must the benefits offered by employers. Recognizing and addressing the unique needs of each generation is crucial. For Gen X, tailored benefits not only provide much-needed support but also strengthen the bond between employee and employer.
In this symbiotic relationship, both parties stand to gain, making the case for customized benefits all the more compelling.
Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.