Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. Adults between the ages of 18-34 now make up one in three American workers, Pew reports. The estimated 53.5 million millennials currently in the work force are only expected to grow as millennials currently enrolled in college graduate and begin working.
Millennials think about their health differently as compared to older generations.
- Millennials think about benefits at work beyond tradition definitions of benefit plans. They think less about work / life balance and more about work / life integration. They want work to be fun, meaningful and contributing to a larger sense of purpose.
Millennials engage with health on their own terms. They expect health experiences to be personalized and engaging.
Millennials are proactive about health and place a lot of emphasis not only on physical health but also mental health. They are more likely to try out new health programs and depend more on themselves versus a doctor for preventative care.
Millennials integrate technology with health and wellness. They aren’t just technology dependent, they are savvy and want to access information on demand. This generation will question, gather information and arrive at their own conclusions.
Millennials are information consumers. They have large social networks and collect their health information through their networks and through the internet. Traditional approaches to disseminating information through websites such as payer portals will increasingly become less effective given that this generation places less emphasis on consuming content through static mediums.
Millennials use their mobile phones extensively to access information. They are all about quick bite-size content that takes little effort to consume.
So what does this mean for wellness?
That portal where you house your wellness tips will likely see fewer eyeballs. How about the monthly health newsletter? Odds are the millennial generation never reads it. The new wellness challenge you are launching may see very low participation unless it is personalized towards the millennial generation. Simply put, it means that we need re-evaluate traditional methods of wellness promotion in the workplace and we must re-design wellness for the millennial.
What can you do as a company?
- Take a critical look at your wellness programs and consider redesigning. Is that 20% engagement number truly acceptable? Are your programs truly fun or do they merely rehash the same old wellness information? Do you really promote health by handing out pedometers that are stashed away in a drawer somewhere after month 1? How would you rate your programs on personalization?
Treat millennials as your primary wellness customers. Would you develop or offer a product without understanding your customer? It is a recipe for failure. Assess the needs of the millennial and factor them in deciding your next wellness endeavor.
- Make it fun, actionable and connect wellness to more than just health but their individual purpose. Whether we are millennials or any other generation, all of us are essentially human. All of us like to be engaged and all of us like to have fun. Are step counts and calorie trackers truly actionable? Do they bring a smile to your face?
Re-designing wellness for the millennial is a chance to rethink and innovate preventive healthcare. Let's use this opportunity to make our wellness programs truly effective, innovative and essentially human.
Is your company interested in tailoring wellness for the millennial? We might have some ideas for you. Write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org