[Breaking News] – The healthcare landscape is changing, and while those in DC continue to have polite, bipartisan discussions on how to “solve” this nagging problem, HR departments everywhere are trying to keep up.
A new study released last week by Allidura Consumer, GSW Worldwide, and the Harris Poll offers some creative options when it comes to running a competitive workplace. The study shifts the discussion from topics like the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, Private Exchanges, preventative care, and Medicaid Part D, to healthcare marketing for the Millennial Mindset.
And why not focus on the consumers of healthcare? Insurers, employers, and providers… grab some popcorn and watch us, Millennials, find our way through the healthcare maze. We are going to make up over half of the workforce in a few years, which means benefits packages will need to play nice with our interpretation of healthcare, whatever that may be.
We are a little bit dramatic… okay, really dramatic:
Millennials worry about getting a serious illness or affording healthcare almost as much as Boomers…. And we are 20 something! The viral nature of the web, the access we have to technology and information, and the trust we put in these types of media is overwhelmingly a GenY downfall.
- 44% of Millennials say that viewing health information online causes them to worry
- Millennials are more likely to describe themselves as anxious
- 1 in 10 have been diagnosed with a social phobia
One word. Paranoid. One hashtag. #Ebola.
Tell your Millennial employees they are healthy. Show them with facts. A little biometric screening never hurt anyone.
We Love Trends:
Have you heard Millennials say (or post rather) some iteration of… #selfie Check out my progress with my #crossfit family! Oh my gosh, I’m on this cleanse and it’s amazing! #juice #eatclean Heck No! G-M-O. I drank wine last night @WholeFoods while I shopped. It was the coolest thing of all time. #wineo I made gluten free pizza from a post on Pinterest I found last week. #organic #farmtotable
- 49% of Millennials have used a training program such as P90X, Insanity, or CrossFit in the past 2 years
- 33% have used a cleanse in the past 2 years
- 27% are willing to pay more for foods that are free of GMOs
- 23% are willing to pay more for foods that are made by a well-known brand
- 15% feel it is absolutely essential or very important to eat gluten- free foods
Don’t offer us a gym membership, then we have to find friends to go with us because we can’t do anything alone. Offer yoga classes, so we can meet friends. For a company fitness challenge… I don’t want your designated pedometer, let me use my Nike+ Fuel Band. And when I win… I absolutely will REFUSE that Subway gift card. Find the brands we like with the nutritional value we think we need.
We trust people we know and our fellow consumer:
It’s no longer a little voice in our heads encouraging us… it’s now an app, our friend, or Kevin Durant giving us the authority to diagnose ourselves or choose the right nutrition plan. Oh, except they don’t have the $500,000 in debt and letters after their names like real doctors. Small detail.
- 84% of Millennials trust information from people they know personally
- 37% have self-diagnosed themselves with health problems that they don’t have
- 22% trust celebrities when endorsing a food product
Groupthink is a powerful thing in this generation. Get people on board and get creative with who delivers the message and how the message is coming across (it doesn’t have to be a celebrity, but if my company felt the need to bring Sam Smith in to make sure I didn’t eat Cane’s every day of the week, I wouldn’t be mad).
The healthcare topic is here to stay. If you wait until it’s solved, you may be waiting longer than the City of Cleveland on a World Championship… aka a really long time. If organizations take a few Millennial approaches to healthcare and make them their own, rather than just keeping up they’ll find themselves setting the standard.
I remember being a college senior winding down my last first semester and ready for finals to be over and go on winter break, sound familiar? Senioritis kicked in early and I just wanted to sprint to the finish line. My brain could not tolerate any more information; even the lyrics to the new Katy Perry song were postponed until after finals. I’m not sure why I was excited for finals to be over though, because that meant I had 3 weeks ONLY focused on basketball. I can’t even call it basketball; it really was more of a track meet twice a day, everyday. I’m getting nauseous just writing about that time in my life it was so nerve-wracking.
Anyhow, it was about that time when I truly started thinking about what I wanted to do with my career. It was the first time when I thought my mom was brilliant for telling me, “Nicole, you should be a doctor.” Which was about 3.5 years too late to know she was brilliant.
I said to my mom when I was in high school, “That’s way too much school mom.”
She replied with, “You should be a nurse then Nicole, the medical field is a great area.”
I finally contended, “Mom, science just isn’t for me. I never liked it in grade school and I skated by on extra credit and charm when it came to biology, chemistry, and physics. The answer is no.”
Decision-making is inevitable
My initial reasoning for becoming a business major was to “keep my options open” aka a phrase that really meant I was too scared to close any doors and truly commit to a career path (which is entirely acceptable). But, after 3.5 years of business courses under my belt, I was still at a loss. I didn’t want to make a decision at 18 and little did I know it just meant I had to then make a decision at 22.
I do understand that even in the classic professions such as law and medicine it is still a requirement to pick a specialty or specific type of practice, however, the track is fairly straightforward. Winter break arrived and I now had this degree that, “I could do almost anything with” and it was a terrible feeling. I could do anything but what in the world was the actual something?
It’s that time of year when college seniors and those in grad school can’t wait to write that last essay or answer that last question. It’s stressful and exhausting. We’ve all been there. And the “fun” part is that once you finish those meaningless tests? There are bigger decisions waiting for you on the horizon, which also causes stress and exhaustion. Yikes.
Don’t confine your career to your degree
Starting my career as a recruiter the over-used phrase, “no one ever sets out to be a recruiter” resonates clearly. When I was 10 years old did I dream of recruiting? No, I dreamed of being recruited to play professional softball or something close to that.
But, as a recruiter I’ve learned that even with how specialized degrees are presently it’s not the end of your story. As a naïve, green recruiter I was surprised that an Art History major was a Senior Director of Marketing at a Top 25 Pharmaceutical company or that a Business Administration major would go on to get their doctorate in Physical Therapy right after undergrad.
Your degree doesn’t define you.
Constantly build your resume
In high school you built your resume to get accepted into college. In college you built your resume to get into grad school or snag that first job. Hate to break it to the young folks but resume building never ends. You’re always adding and subtracting.
There’s always a next, especially in this job market. I’m not saying that you’re always building your resume to leave your company. But, you are constantly building your resume because it puts you in control of your career path. With that control comes decision-making but, knowing you’re accountable for building your skills and knowledge base is a competitive edge needed in today’s job market.
Lifelong learners are not only the individuals who decide to add every acronym known to human kind at the end of their name with a degree or certification from A-Z. But, also those individuals who find it important to consistently build on their accomplishments. If you ever feel like you’ve arrived that’s where you’ll stay.
As you read through my blogs I think a common theme you’ll find is “Hard Work”. While reading through articles concerning new drugs in the market, I came across Arena’s weight loss product which received positive feedback from the FDA. Reading the article I couldn’t help but think, “Is this really necessary?” In the article it discusses how the FDA has had a tough stance on the safety of obesity drugs. Which makes sense, whatever happened to exercise and diet? I understand that not everyone can go on a show like Biggest Loser (one of my favorite shows by the way) and workout for 8+ hours a day. But, a pill… really? There is still discussion whether or not obesity is a disease or not but, it’s been proven to be “cured” when individuals stop eating 6000 calories a day and ride a bike for 30 minutes. That’s a very simple answer but, I think the point is made.
In reading this piece I also began to think about our Millennial Generation. We’ve been brought up to believe the doctor can cure everything or that there’s some sort of therapy out there to solve all of our problems. I think the pharmaceutical industry is a great place to start when discussing Gen Y’s mindset. Oh you have a cold? Take a Z-Pak. Oh you want your hair to grow faster? Take the vitamin biotin. This has now transitioned into – Oh you don’t know where you’re going? Don’t ask a “human being” that might error, ask your phone. There’s ALWAYS an answer.
One of the criticisms of those coming out of college is that we have too many expectations or that the expectations are unrealistic. Also, that we don’t know how to deal with problems when directions aren’t clear or there’s no exact defined answer. We can’t problem-solve.
Well, look no further than all of the pills on your counter. In our minds, there’s a quick and easy solution to everything. Need great abs? There are only about 52 infomercials with 52 different products to get you there. Don’t’ have time to make coffee? Don’t worry the 5-hour energy shot has you covered. While I’m not trying to play the blame game and say “Millennials are a product of society,” I think it’s important to read headlines today with more than one lens. When you see that next “quick-fix” – what will go through your mind?
Call to Action: Gen Y – How are you going to problem-solve when there isn’t a defined answer? This will differentiate you from the others.