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Gen Y workers want financial advice in benefits packages, Barclays research finds

Almost two-thirds of Gen Y workers want their employer to offer financial education and guidance as part of their benefits package, according to a report by Barclays.

It found employers are failing to adapt their benefit offerings to meet the changing needs of younger generations.

The study, Talking About My Generation: Exploring the Benefits Engagement Challenge, showed despite 65% of Gen Y workers wanting financial help, only 17% of UK employers offer it.

The study of 1,200 UK employees examined the fact that for the first time in history, there are up to five different generations in the workplace and considers how relevant current benefits packages for this multigenerational workforce.

It believes the 'one-size-fits-all' benefits package designed by the baby boomer generation is "not fit for purpose" and fails to meet the needs of the three main generations - especially Gen Y.

Multi-generational workforce

Report author Paul Redmond, director of employability and educational opportunities at the University of Liverpool, said the existence of a multi-generational workforce has "significant implications" for employers.

"There is great demand among all generational groups for flexibility and tailoring of packages but significantly, the research highlighted the fact that traditional benefits packages are not meeting the expectations and lifestyle needs of the younger generations in particular," said Redmond.

"The result is a growing gulf in the traditional psychological contract, the unspoken relationship between employers and employees, which is having a profound effect on today's workplace."

Resistant to change

The study found with employee benefits designed almost exclusively by the Baby Boomer generation, almost nine out of 10 Gen Y and Gen X workers are left dissatisfied by their benefit offering.

The report found the priorities of employees from different generations are not being properly managed.

Pension schemes, training and personal development, holiday flexibility and flexibility around working hours are among the most commonly available benefits to employees.

However the report showed a disparity between expectation and reality. Almost half (42%) of Gen Y employees said that they would value help with a mortgage deposit and a quarter (25%) would value access to a personal banker through work, although this was available to just 4% of all respondents.

Barclays corporate and employer solutions director Katharine Photiou said employers are faced with a situation in which "they must adapt to survive".

"Most stark from the research is the fact that the expectations of the younger generations in today's workforce are not being met by the benefits currently on offer, an area of growing frustration for this group," she said.

"For HR professionals, focusing their benefits strategy to better meet the needs of the younger generations while developing and promoting top talent - the future leaders and managers - must be a crucial imperative."