Money & Business Pro Tip: Build Benefits for More Seasoned Employees
Employers may gain from targeting more mature generations of workers, a workplace transformation expert says. One place they should look: the benefits.
Does the secret to growth involve hiring a few employees who have been around the block once or twice?
That’s what Rick Grimaldi, author of FLEX: A Leader’s Guide to Staying Nimble and Mastering Transformative Change in the American Workplace, argues in his recent book. He says that hiring employees who are later in their careers—Grimaldi suggests calling them “seasoned,” rather than using terms like “older”—is a quick way to build experience within your organization. And many of those workers are looking for the opportunity too, he says.
“With baby boomers in particular, we’re seeing people with second and third careers,” he says.
What’s the Strategy?
To help make this shift palatable to workers who may enter this field for reasons more nuanced than larger paychecks, try building benefits that might be of specific value to them.
Grimaldi recommends three particular benefits that could appeal to this group:
Internal mentoring programs. Programs that pair more experienced and less experienced employees not only help distribute knowledge within an organization, but they also bring value to the work for both parties.
More flexible hours. A new role may be an opportunity for more seasoned employees to get away from the grind of the traditional 9-to-5, especially in a remote environment. “One of the benefits that an employer can offer is flexibility—the ability to control your time, to be able to control your schedule, a little bit,” he says.
Wellness benefits. Grimaldi says that employees among the baby boomer and Gen X demographics are often looking for ways to stay active. “We’re really seeing the trend toward wellness and remaining healthy, and that’s kind of consistent with people that want to remain active,” he says.
Why Is It Effective?
Grimaldi, who also is an employment lawyer with the firm Fisher Phillips, warns that you can’t explicitly target benefits toward specific groups of employees. But building benefits for everyone—with specific relevance to more seasoned employees—can be an effective way to bring more experience to your organization.
Additionally, he says that it helps to draw in workers who might have a different view on retirement than prior generations—and might be looking for ways to stay in the workforce. “As people mature, they look at, ‘Where am I going to go next?’ or ‘What am I going to do next?’” he says.
What’s the Potential?
Making more room for a multigenerational workplace could strengthen the entire organization, Grimaldi explains, with knowledge-sharing benefits showing themselves in mentoring programs in particular. If done right, he says, younger employees will gain institutional knowledge, while more seasoned employees gain access to modern technical skills.
“Remember, they provide value to everyone,” he says.
(Portra/E+/Getty Images Plus)