Promote Employee Benefits by Generation and Boost Enrollment

Segment the work force and promote benefits
to each generation on its terms

Benefit needs by generation,” a paper from the Group Insurance division of Securian Financial Group, gives employers a general understanding of each generation’s characteristics and preferences, providing a strategy for boosting enrollment.

“Different generations respond to different approaches,” said Paula Bilitz, director, Group Life Marketing, Securian Financial Group. “Employers who tailor their benefits communications to employee references have a better chance of persuading them to enroll.”

The Securian paper offers strategies for each generation:

Baby boomers (born 1946-64) appreciate honest, simple language and financial scenarios. They also want information about estate planning. Approach Generation X (born 1965-81) with virtual marketing and a focus on significant life events such as marriage, having children or changing jobs. To effectively market to millennials (born 1982-93), use online resources to reach out to them while opening lines of communication to HR to provide support.

Employee input

Another approach to improving benefits enrollment is to ask employees what they like and don’t like about the current process.

“Employees are often willing to share critiques of their company’s benefits communications and provide suggestions for making them better,” said Bilitz.

A glimpse at the generations

Generation Y: born between 1982-1993

  • Skeptical of corporate life
  • Rely on technology to learn, but appreciate

Generation X: born between 1965-1981

  • Technologically savvy, favor shopping online
  • Mistrust institutions

Baby Boomers: born between 1946-1964

  • Remain the largest segment of the workforce
  • More private about financial information
    Source: Deloitte Center for Financial Services, 2013
Different generations respond to different approaches


Connecting with Generation X

When attempting to reach this group, employers must:

  • Embrace virtual marketing – As computer pioneers and members
    of the internet revolution, they are highly connected, use the Web
    for online banking and shopping, and are influenced by social
  • Focus on casual informational sessions – Setting up informational
    sessions within a trusted environment can leverage Generation
    X’s social connectedness, while reducing their general skepticism
    of institutions.
  • Key in on significant life events – Marriage, divorce, having
    children or changing jobs are opportunities to remind this group of
    the impact these changes have on their financial status and what
    steps they can take to protect their lifestyle.
  • Get the education part right, then give them time to complete the
    purchase process.

Connecting with Generation Y

To help raise Millennials’ financial consciousness, employers can:

  • Use online resources, in addition to phone and face-to-face
    meetings, to inform
  • Reach out proactively. Generation Y workers rely more on the
    workplace for information on how much coverage they need,
    compared to recommendations from friends and family
  • Open lines of communication with HR to offer guidance
    and support

Read the entire report here.





Since 1880, Securian Financial Group and its affiliates have provided financial security for individuals and businesses in the form of insurance, investments and retirement plans. Now one of the nation’s largest financial services providers, it is the holding company parent of a group of companies that offer a broad range of financial services.