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Driving wellbeing with a personalized life stage-based approach


By Cathinka Wahlstrom
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Personalization of benefits is key to improving employee health, financial and mental wellbeing. Data and technology enable companies to customize offerings and support based on employee life stages, promoting a healthier, more financially secure workforce.

Employees’ needs vary from generation to generation and throughout each stage of life. A hyper-personalized menu of benefits offerings and support optimizes their experience and delivers greater cost efficiency for businesses. Through our work with clients and their people, we’ve seen these differences unfold.


Lauren recently graduated from college and is excited about launching her career. However, she is worried about looming student loan payments. With this financial burden top of mind, she goes over her new employer’s health benefits offerings and 401(k) plans. “Are these really necessary?” she thinks. “I need all the money I can get. Would the least expensive options be sufficient?”

Current trends — addressing the needs of younger workers

Money is paramount for younger generations. Studies have shown Millennials and Gen-Z start saving much earlier than their predecessors, but are still worse off financially. They are less likely to buy a home and typically spend 24% less time on financial matters.

By using technology and AI, companies can apply these trends to their benefits offerings to have a positive effect on the financial health of their younger employees. In addition to strategies like auto-enrollment and auto-escalation, companies have an opportunity to provide financial literacy and counseling to maximize long-term outcomes.

According to the 2022 Alight International Workforce Wellbeing Mindset Study, younger generations value long-term incentives, such as company investment options, graduate school tuition funding and personal development offerings much more than Baby Boomers.

Millennials and Gen Z are thinking years ahead. Helping employees like Lauren stretch their limited financial resources will go a long way in securing their financial health and loyalty to their employer.

Younger generations value long-term incentives much more than Baby Boomers.*

Monique is expecting her first baby and her mind is swirling with questions: “What do I need to do to stay healthy for me and the baby during my pregnancy? How do I budget for maternity leave and baby-related expenses? How can I get my new family off to a good start financially?”

Current trends — addressing the needs of new parents

According to our 2022 Mindset Study, more than half of U.S.-based employees have children between the ages of 10-13 and four in 10 of employees’ children require their attention for remote learning.

In our Employer Response to COVID-19 studies, we also found that most employers do not know how many of their employees are dealing with caregiving or remote learning challenges. What’s more, employers underestimate the impact of such burdens on work performance and emotional health.

Employees increasingly want both a fulfilling family life and career, yet the demands on the workforce continue to grow. Companies have an opportunity to adapt to employees’ changing priorities by exploring wellness offerings that include childcare and schedule flexibility.

More than half of U.S.-based employees have children between the ages of 10-13.*

David is counting down the days until retirement and looking forward to new adventures ahead. He has saved consistently, made the right investments and built himself a healthy nest egg. Now that he is so close, what steps should he take to ensure good health and financial freedom in his golden years?

Current trends — addressing the needs of senior workers

According to Alight’s 2022 Mindset Study, 42% of U.S. employees believe it’s impossible to save enough for retirement because their current pay only covers near-term expenses. For employers, this presents an opportunity to rethink their approach to retirement and long-term financial planning benefits for their workforce. If a country doesn’t have strong retiree healthcare or social security programs, how can companies provide an offering to fill that gap?

In retirement planning, an early start is key. Companies have a definite role to play in ensuring their employees make smart choices at every life stage. For someone approaching retirement without sufficient savings, for example, the options become more and more limited the closer they get to retirement age. Thus, there is value in providing customized financial counseling and planning resources to this employee segment.

For Alight’s financial wellness clients, we conduct a rigorous assessment for every employee to recommend the customized, targeted steps they need to take to reach their retirement goal. We help our clients play an active role in their employees’ financial health with regular, targeted, custom communications delivered by our platform to encourage employees to save regularly and engage with the financial counseling and resources available to them.

42% of U.S. employees believe it’s impossible to save enough for retirement.*


Conclusion

With data and technology, employers can provide clarity and deliver better, broader, connected insights, so employees can select the benefits that best meet their needs and those of their families. Helping employees make smarter choices and confident decisions around health and wealth not only benefits their personal wellbeing, but also increases productivity, engagement and performance in the workplace. Employers are aware the needs of their employees are changing. By using AI and technology, they can provide more tailored benefits offerings to improve employee wellbeing for every life stage.

*Source: 2022 Alight International Workforce Wellbeing Mindset Study

 
Cathinka Wahlstrom (US)
Cathinka Wahlstrom (US)
By Cathinka Wahlstrom

Known for her unwavering focus on cultivating client relationships, and building growth-oriented teams, Cathinka Wahlstrom serves as president and chief commercial officer at Alight. In this role, Cathinka is responsible for leading all aspects of Alight’s commercial organization, including sales, strategic accounts, solutions, channels and partnerships and marketing. Before joining Alight, Cathinka served in various leadership roles throughout her more than 26-year career at Accenture.

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