The Top Four Benefits Xers Value Most

    Posted by TASC Large Markets on Dec 2, 2019 11:25:54 AM

    Gen X is leading the next generation with 51% of leadership roles and 33% of the labor force.


    At 33% of the labor force, Generation X trails Millennials in sheer numbers.1 But with 51% of the leadership roles, they might be the generation most important to the immediate and short-term success of your business or organization.2 Their self-reliance, credited to their “latchkey” childhoods (nearly half of all Gen Xers grew up in households where both parents worked3), makes them great assets. The challenge is that they also tend to be the least contented with only 68% say they’re happy on the job—compared to 75% of Millennials.4


    The cliché view of Gen Xers is that they’re more unhappy because they’re more cynical than Boomers or Millennials. But they have very real challenges that can negatively affect their happiness. By understanding these challenges, it’s possible to put together benefits that will improve their on-the-job satisfaction.

    Here are the top four Gen X benefits you should consider offering—and why.

    Help managing their financial wellbeing

    The Great Recession of 2007-2009 hit Gen X hard impacting  their income and retirement  in both dollars and their financial anxiety. Only 59% of Gen X workers feel confident about their finances in general.5 Half say they’re running behind in saving for retirement6 and 70% aren’t confident they will actually get all of the benefits of the Social Security.7 Complicating their retirement saving predicament is the fact that many have major expenses related to family and homeownership. Gen Xers have the most overall debt and the most credit card debit.8 A full 34% have taken money out of retirement savings to pay bills or make purchases.9 Overall, they spend more so they need to save more. That’s why 3 in 4 Gen Xers are likely to be attracted to companies that take an interest in their financial wellbeing.10 Offer programs and educational tools to help them improve financial wellness and save for retirement.

    Health plan protection for themselves and their families

    Seventy-four percent of Gen Xers have children.11 And 28% find themselves dealing with major medical expenses before they reach age 50.12 It follows logically that over half (57%) of all Gen Xers rely heavily on their employer’s health plan to provide family coverage13. Whereas many in that group lack confidence about their overall financial expertise, two in three consider themselves “savvy” or “very savvy” healthcare consumers.14 They’re looking to you for smarter ways to cover rising healthcare costs, and for ideas about how to keep themselves and their families healthy.

    Family leave for caregiving

    As the so-called “Sandwich Generation,” positioned between Boomers and Millennials, Generation X often finds itself providing care for both children and parents. About a third have been caregivers for an aging family member15 and nearly 20% provide some form of assistance to a parent or older relative, including shopping, making meals, and helping with household chores and transportation.16 An expanded approach to family leave, which is already a top workforce benefit, will appeal to these workers.17 Consider retooling your leave policies and offering backup care and dependent care, which 3 out of 4 employers agree is a benefit is growing in importance.18

    Flexible hours

    A 2016 report ranked workplace flexibility the most important overall benefit for Gen X, which is hardly surprising given its responsibilities for both children and parents and the way those responsibilities can affect schedules.19 Remember, too, that Gen X was the generation that “invented” work-life balance. As a result, they tend to think of policies that support that balance as a necessary prerequisite to accepting a job.20 You can support this need with family-friendly programs like flexible schedules and home office reimbursement.

    The overall goal for Generation X is quality of life. Your organization’s failure to help them achieve it can hurt your ability to find and retain them. The good news is that only 37% are contemplating leaving their jobs to advance their careers.21 So if you offer them benefits that align with their needs, they will likely stay with you.


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    1. “Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force,” April 2018:
    2. “Gen X—not millennials—is changing the nature of work,” April 2018:
    3. “The MetLife Study of Gen X: The MTV Generation Moves into Mid-Life,”  April 2013:
    4. “Gen X: Least Happy at Work, Most Financially Stressed,” March 2019:
    5. Ibid.
    6. “The MetLife Study of Gen X: The MTV Generation Moves into Mid-Life,”  April 2013:
    7. Ibid.
    8. “Gen X: Least Happy at Work, Most Financially Stressed,” March 2019:
    9. “Generation X: Our Top 2 Retirement Planning Priorities,” May 2018:
    11. “The MetLife Study of Gen X: The MTV Generation Moves into Mid-Life,”  April 2013:
    12. Ibid.
    13. SHRM, April 2019:
    14. “It’s Time to Start Talking about Generational Wellness,” May 2019:
    15. “Gen X: Least Happy at Work, Most Financially Stressed,” March 2019:
    16. “The MetLife Study of Gen X: The MTV Generation Moves into Mid-Life,”  April 2013:
    17. Inc., 2018: http://LM-6302-070319
    18. SHRM, 2017:
    19. Kaiser Permanente, 2016:
    20. “The Evolving Definition of Work-Life Balance,” March 2018:
    21. “GenX—not millennials—is changing the nature of work,” April 2018: