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Humans Are a Top Source for Benefits Information

When it comes to benefits, Baby Boomers (1946-64), Gen X  (1965-79), Millennials (1980-94) and Gen Z (1995-2012) are in agreement on one thing: Humans are best source of benefits information.


This is according to a survey of 1,506 full-time U.S. employees by Colonial Life, which found just 11% of employees name the internet as the place they turn to learn about benefits at enrollment season each year. That number falls to just 10% of Millennials and 7% of Generation Z workers.

Meanwhile, 76% of all employees turn to humans — HR professionals, coworkers, family and friends. It’s even higher for Millennials (83%) and members of Generation Z (91%).

While providing information through digital tools is critical, it’s not the best way for employers to engage their workers, says Colonial Life’s Richard Shaffer, senior vice president for growth markets.

“Many benefits providers and experts are running away from human interaction and human touch in their business model,” Shaffer said. “But we are finding that now, more than ever, employees want to turn to a trusted human for benefits advice.”

While every generation depends on people for benefits support, an employee’s age does affect which humans are trusted advisers. Baby Boomers and Gen X workers prefer to turn to HR professionals (50% and 42%, respectively). But younger employees turn to coworkers (26% for Millennials and 31% for Gen Z) and friends and family (22% for Millennials and 37% for Gen Z).

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