Benefits for Boomers: How insurance employers are designing perks around their top performers

Benefits for Boomers
How insurance employers are designing perks around their top performers
By: Mike McDonough

The insurance industry is facing a brain drain. The most experienced employees are retiring en mass and the next generation isn’t stepping up to take their place. By 2019, 35% of American workers will be over 50. And with so many executives nearing the retirement threshold, it’s up to the companies to provide reasons for them to stay to, or past, retirement age. Smart organizations are looking at why their employees are retiring early and designing their workplace benefits to meet those needs. Below are the top four reasons baby boomers are electing to retire early, and the benefits insurance companies are using to keep them in the workforce.

Desire to pursue other interests/spend time with family
Priorities change as people advance in their careers. Instead of working their way up the ladder, some employees become more focused on fishing and families. When these outside forces start pulling them away from the office, it can be a challenge to keep senior staff engaged and active. Flexible hours seem like a tactic to recruit the millennial generation, but it’s actually the baby boomers that love the idea of making their own schedules. It allows them the opportunity to arrive at their desk early and be out by three to pick up the grandkids from school or hit the links for a quick nine holes of golf. By offering flexible hours for executives and older employers, insurance companies are letting them commit 100% at work while not sacrificing their outside interests.

Sometimes older employees have to stop working simply because they can’t physically do it anymore. If their health starts to fail them, early retirement may be their best course of action in order to concentrate on their health. But some insurance employers are helping aging workers boost their fitness levels before retirement too. Through programs like nutritional plans, smoking cessation assistance and on-site fitness centers, companies are taking a proactive approach to health and seeing it pay dividends. By helping their people live better while they’re working, insurance organizations are seeing employees that are happier, healthier and in the workforce longer.

Dissatisfaction with their jobs
One of the top reasons employees retire as soon as they can? They hate their jobs. When they’re unhappy with their current position or company, they’re much more likely to leave as soon as they’re eligible or even retire early. So what makes baby boomers happy in insurance positions? The same perks that attract new hires. Boomers site opportunities to advance, a strong culture and enticing benefits as the main factors in employee satisfaction. Top insurance companies are showing their executive leadership ways they can continue to advance in the organization. They’re also creating a culture where older employees are valued and used as mentors for their teams. By showing they care about their senior personnel, these employers are increasing satisfaction and getting more years out of their staff.

The insurance industry knows about these four factors for early retirement and is finally starting to create benefit programs to battle them. That’s why it’s more important than ever to ask about the peripheral benefits before making a move. Baby boomers now make up the majority in the workforce and that number is only set to grow over the next few years. Companies that cater to this reality will reap the benefits, and those that aren’t will be dealing with a lapse of talent at the top.
If you want to find a place that better values your talent and has a culture to fit your work/life balance, give us a call. Or if you’re a company that needs to find the next generation of leadership to help your company adapt to the needs of senior workers, we’re here to help you find them. We understand the benefits of matching culture with candidates, and have been doing it for years. At General Search & Recruitment, we’ve seen the value of baby boomers and are ready to help companies see that potential too.

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