These Are the Employee Benefits Each Generation Wants

These Are the Employee Benefits Each Generation Wants

Learn generational expectations to create the perfect employee benefits package.
Company benefits handbook

Research shows that by 2027, more than 900,000 registered nurses across all disciplines are expected to leave the profession—that’s one-fifth of the entire nurse workforce. In today’s workforce landscape, nurses have more opportunities than ever before to take different career paths, including opportunities in extended education and within a wider array of specialized services that need workers with nursing experience.

One of the most crucial factors in retaining the shrinking workforce is a strong benefits package. According to a Glassdoor, about 60% of people report that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering whether to accept a job offer, and 80% of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay raise. When it comes to competing with the alternative pathways for nurses, hospitals can differentiate themselves through their benefits offering.

To offer an attractive benefits package, it’s important to understand the workforce. Looking at a generational breakdown of all nurses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Millennials comprise the largest group, accounting for 37% of the workforce.
  • Generation X makes up 30% of the nursing population.
  • Generation Z comprises 19%—and rising.
  • The Baby Boomers still represent a significant portion of the nursing profession with 14% of the total.

Though every employee wants a competitive salary, different age groups expect different benefits. Understanding these differences can help children’s hospitals craft the perfect benefits package to meet the needs of employees from every generation of their workforce. This breakdown comes from an annual survey by the Society for Human Resources and Management.

Baby Boomers

Born between 1946-1964
Baby Boomers are fiercely competitive and take tremendous pride in their work. They’re motivated by recognition for their accomplishments and loyalty to their organization.

What benefits Baby Boomers want:

  • Retirement planning or investment advice.
  • Long-term care insurance.
  • Lifetime income solutions, such as in-plan annuities.
  • 401(k) matching contributions.
  • Dental plan.

Generation X
Born between 1965-1979

Generation X grew up fending for themselves and thus are resourceful and independent. They crave flexibility and work-life balance from their career.

What Generation X wants:

  • Supplemental insurance that may help cover costs linked to hospital stays or serious illnesses.
  • Work-from-home days, flexible schedules.
  • Full-service employee assistance programs.
  • Wellness programs.


Born between 1980-1994

Millennials are commonly known as the most collaborative generation in history. They are the largest generational group in the nursing workforce and seek meaning from their work.

What benefits millennials want:

  • Low-cost, quality health care.
  • Paid sick days.
  • Work-from-home days.
  • Flexible schedules.

Generation Z

Born between 1995-2012
A product of financial instability, Generation Z is extremely competitive and driven primarily by money. They want flexibility from a career and opportunities to earn higher incomes with quality work.

What benefits Gen Z wants:

  • Telemedicine programs or virtual mental health counseling.
  • Loan payment aid or tuition reimbursement.
  • Comprehensive health insurance.
  • Vision, dental, maternity and well-being benefits.
  • Employee assistance programs.

Crucial caveats

With the wide variance in needs, there’s not likely a one-size-fits-all solution. Children’s hospitals may consider voluntary benefit plans, which allow employees to have some flexibility in personalizing their benefits and coverages.

Thorough communication with staff is key to understanding their needs and ensuring they are fully apprised of their options. It’s also crucial for leadership to be abreast of employment laws to be certain that variable benefit offerings are in line with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rules and guidelines.

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