How technology can bridge the generational gap

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NEW ORLEANS — Benefit advisers should be using technology when balancing the demands of a multi-generational workplace, said Perry Braun, executive director of Benefit Advisors Network.

“2020 is just another year of chaos,” he said at the 2020 Workplace Benefits Renaissance conference. “If you want to be in the employee benefits space and advise employees, you should be packaging technology within the benefits framework.”

Benefit advisers are working with five different generations of workers. According to Deloitte, millennials will make up 75% of the workplace by 2025. Communicating effectively with this generation and others requires advisers to consider the needs and priorities of all.

“Think about how [different generations] learn and process information and build a communications practice to reach them,” Braun said.

Utilizing technology is critical to providing this open communication between adviser and client. Not only can it offer clients a full scope of benefits, it allows them to create a strategy for their business.

“Technology can be used to create a strategic dashboard that can help businesses monitor the objectives that support their benefits,” said Mark Skinner, president and CEO of Retirement and Benefits Partners.

Clients should be offering technology within a benefits framework, explained Braun. It ties into every element of an effective benefit strategy, and allows employees control over how they utilize their company's offerings.

“Technology ties into a communications strategy, which leads to human capital management,” Braun said. “Use technology as a marketplace: allow employees to select their choices and move their dollars.”

According to a report by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, 51% of employers said outdated technology hampers their ability to attract talent to their business. But addressing the needs of all employees and allowing them to adapt their benefits will keep a company competitive and ahead of the curve when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.

“There are more jobs open than people to fill them, so clients want to know what policies you can facilitate that will attract and retain your employees,” Braun said.

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