Baby boomers are top of the list of the concerns of employers – more than any other generation, research shows.
A poll carried out for trade body Group Risk Development (GRiD), shows that employers’ concern for the health and wellbeing of staff increases with employees’ age.
The poll – carried out by Opinium on behalf of GRiD among 500 HR Decision makers earlier this year – suggests that they have least concerns for their Generation Z employees.
Their concerns rise to a greater degree for millennials and Generation X, and peak for baby boomers.
GRiD spokesperson and group risk specialist Katharine Moxham said: “It’s hugely important that employee support is provided holistically with adequate resources split between physical, mental, financial and social health, as no-one can predict the twists and turns that an individual’s life may take.
“Many employers rightly appreciate the specific issues their baby boomer employees face. This group will have worked hard over many decades and many employers will feel a particular responsibility to this group as their lives become more complex.”
Living with long-term chronic illness or health conditions (such as diabetes) was the issue that caused employers the second most concern for baby boomers (31%). Employers also had some concerns for Generation X (28%) and millennials (27%). Employers did not see long-term chronic illness as quite such a concern for Generation Z (21%).
Ill-health related to lifestyle – such as obesity, smoking, alcohol dependence was the next most pressing concern for employers about their baby boomer employees (30%).
More than a quarter (27%) of employers are worried about this for their Generation X employees. A similar number (26%) are worried about that of their millennial employees and 18% for their Generation Zers.
Stress and anxiety relating to home life [such as caring responsibilities and managing difficult relationships] was a concern of employers for the baby boomer generation (26%). It was slightly lower for Generation X (24%), millennials (20%) and Generation Z (17%).
The research was carried out prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but GRiD spokesperson Katharine Mocham said that she believes that the stress and anxiety of employees will only have increased at this time, as the “far-reaching” implications of the pandemic have taken affect.
She said: “Many businesses will find that their baby boomer generation remains committed to working for longer than many employers had perhaps expected.
“The work ethic across this generation is strong and many mature staff also enjoy the companionship of the workplace and simply do not want to retire.
“Another factor keeping this generation in the workplace is that some will not be able to afford to retire – with potential pressures on both house prices and retirement income after the pandemic, this could increasingly become the case.
“While the baby boomer generation is the one that most concerns employers, it is important that all generations are supported, and across all areas of concern – financial, physical, social and emotional.
“Group risk products (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness) have long included support for such concerns and are a great help for employers looking at how best to support all their staff.”