Baby Boomers vs. Millennials – Wellness Engagement and Communicating Across Different Generations

Feb 8, 2017

Are you part of an organization that has a diverse age range of employees and are not sure how to effectively communicate health and wellness benefits to them? If so, you’re not alone. Both the young and old are always looking for an education in health and wellness. It begs the question - with such a range how is it best to communicate and successfully engage different generations? 


When it comes to generational gaps, communicating a message to an individual can be interpreted in several different ways, depending on that person’s age. Only by understanding the different generations can you bridge the gap in communicating wellness and health benefits effectively.  


On average in today’s professional workplace employees can range from Millennials (20-40 years) to Generation X (40-50 years old), to finally, Baby Boomers (ages 50-70 years old).  

How do you successfully communicate wellness initiatives to these generations? The first step is to try and understand them. Here are some typical stereotypes of each group that most have heard of before: 


  • Are entitled and aren’t willing to pay their dues 

  • They’re job hoppers  

  • They’re lazy (with some refusing to work beyond a 9-5) 

  • They’re super-sensitive and need constant praise 

Generation X 

  • They feel forgotten (worrying Millennials will take over the workplace) 

  • They’re low maintenance 

  • They’re still slackers (and complain about work-life balance)

Baby Boomers 

  • They’re set in their ways “because they’ve always done it that way” 

  • They’re out of touch (especially when it comes to technology) 

  • They’re workaholics and will put in those long hours 

  • They’re about to retire

These tendencies are not new to people. It’s what they all have in common that is not so well known: 

  • Engagement levels are consistent across all the generations 

  • There is a disconnect between the monetary perception and the perceived value of benefits 

  • They all feel leadership needs to know what they’re doing 

  • They all want to feel valued and liked 

  • They all want to like their work and feel progress in their job 

  • All of them are in dire need of financial wellness to alleviate the anxiety of crippling debts or the uncertainty of when they’ll be able to retire. Millennials are drowning in student debt and the recession has hit the older generations hard 

  • All generations are looking for an intuitive wellness shopping experience where they can find what’s right for them 

  • The majority are happy with what they are doing for work but they are always on the lookout for something better 


That last point is why having competitive benefits that include an intuitive wellness program can be so important to retaining a workforce. So how can you effectively speak the language of each generation? 

Millennials make up 36% of the workforce and by 2020 will make up for nearly half of all workers.  

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School/Young Entrepreneur Council, 2013 




Engagement is a real issue with Millennials. Success with increasing engagement is delivering an innovative wellness program that caters to their needs and aligns with their preferences. Millennials have grown up with the internet and expect to have instant communication. Make your wellness program social and fun. In the context of wellness, social strategies can build new connections, strengthen existing relationships and enhance the worksite environment to produce positive health outcomes. Provide a way for them to collaborate with their peers through discussion boards. Team based competitions, peer-to-peer challenges and coaching also motivate them and create a valuable support network.  

Generation X

Generation X prefer email communication and are more interested in voluntary benefits. They also like choices that give them a feeling of safety (think incentive or benefit accounts). This generation also does the most online research – provide them with the online resources such as a health library and blogs on wellness to further their education.  

Baby Boomers 

Baby boomers are looking more for onsite support and need opportunities to ask questions. They are also much more likely to own an iPad or tablet so make sure your wellness program is visually appealing on a variety of screen sizes. Similar to Gen X, Baby Boomers love to research and consume content – use webinars, videos and blog posts to engage them.  



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CoreHealth Technologies Inc. is the leading corporate wellness platform trusted by more than 1000 organizations, ranging from medium-sized businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises. At CoreHealth, we believe that developing the best employee wellness programs is all about giving wellness companies the right code, design and access to the latest innovations. With the most customization, integrations and reliability of any software in its class, CoreHealth’s powerful platform lets users focus on growing great companies. For more information, explore the CoreHealth website.

Cindy Danielson

Written by Cindy Danielson

Cindy Danielson is CoreHealth's Marketing Maverick and team leader with a passion for connecting people and technology. In addition to marketing, she has experience as a Benefits Brokers, HR Professional and Project Manager.