Millennials aren’t prioritizing medical care, compared to other generations. Yet they’re the most likely to want employers who play an active role in supporting their overall health and wellbeing. In fact, only 54% of this group has had a physical exam in the last 12 months, compared to 60% of Gen X and 73% of boomers, finds a report by Aon Hewitt.
- 39% believe preventative care is important, compared to 49% of Gen X and 69% of boomers;
- 21% participate in eating/weight management programs, compared to 23% of Gen X and 28% of boomers; and
- surprisingly, 63% engage in regular exercise, compared to 52% of Gen X and 49% of boomers.
“The lack of health prevention and maintenance when they’re young may lead to greater health risks as they get older,” says Ray Baumruk, employee research leader at Aon Hewitt. “Employers should communicate the importance of participating in health-related activities now to avoid serious health issues later in life.”
Millennials want employer support
More than half say “living or working in a healthy environment” is influential to their personal health, compared to 42% of Generation X and 35% of boomers. The younger age group is also more open to having their direct manager play a role in their health (53%), compared to 47% of Gen X and 41% of boomers.
Here are some tips for business owner clients when hiring and working with Millennials.
- Understand what motivates them.
- Know how to reach your audience. Employers should explore social channels that include blogs, and short-form video sharing services like Vine. Companies should also take advantage of apps and mobile-friendly websites to help engage employees in health and wellness campaigns.
- Make it easy and convenient. Almost half say they’re more likely to participate in health and wellness programs if they are “easy or convenient to do.” For example, employers should consider walking meetings, group fitness events or offering on-site health and fitness programs like yoga or Zumba.
- Add an element of competition. Millennials are interested in friendly competitions. Company-wide well-being or fitness challenges, or access to a social web platform where individuals can buddy-up, build teams and initiate their own mini-challenges, may be effective.
More than half report their motivation is “to look good,” and not to “avoid illness.” Employers should tailor their strategy to show how poor health can impact an individual’s energy and appearance.