In today’s thriving economy and positive job market, attracting and retaining employees is a bigger challenge for employers than it has been in years.

In the current marketplace, employees have more flexibility to seek out employment opportunities that better fit their needs and wants rather than remain in a position for its job security. In fact, 45 percent of employees say that they would be likely or very likely to look for other jobs outside their current organization within the next year.1

According to SHRM, while overall employee satisfaction is higher than it has been in 10 years, workers report low satisfaction with their benefits.2 Consequently, employers are looking for innovative ways to differentiate their benefits packages in this competitive marketplace.

The ability to customize benefits resonates with employees. However, there is more to customizing benefits than age alone. Employers can’t over-generalize the generations in today’s market. Within each generation there are varying lifestyles and buying preferences that dictate what benefits are important to those employees. The new way to customize voluntary benefits goes beyond matching benefits to mainstream generation characteristics by adding another level of segmentation. At Purchasing Power, we like to call it “Voluntary Benefit Customization 2.0.”

Purchasing Power recently conducted research and published a white paper, Beyond the Generations: Ultimate Customization.” We learned that while a large portion of the population within the three primary generations fits the average description of that generation and can be classified as “mainstream,” not all employees in a generation have the same benefits needs.

So we added eight employee personas that further segment the generations – Content Boomer, Budget Living, Balanced Bliss, Savvy Starters, Flourishing Family, Urban Crew, Settled in the City and Cultural Mix.

Identifying eight personas based on lifestyle and buying preferences provides a method for employers to offer voluntary benefits that are important to their diverse workforce. This is especially key for non-traditional voluntary benefits that offer the ultimate customization approach to a company’s benefit package..

Segmenting the generations is the new way to match voluntary benefits to employees’ diversity for a more effective total rewards strategy. Organizations that take customization of benefits to heart and embrace further segmentation of the generations will be able to structure their benefits in a way that will attract, retain and engage the talent they need for the future.

To learn more about Purchasing Power and the role we play in the non-traditional voluntary benefits industry, visit us at or connect with us on LinkedIn.

1, 2 SHRM’s 2016 report, “Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement: Revitalizing a Changing Workforce.”