Millennials make up the largest generational group in the U.S. workforce at more than 53 million workers. They function differently in the workplace than past generations and have different expectations of their employers. They’re shaking up the workforce, and legacy companies and small businesses alike are asking themselves how to recruit, retain, and motivate their millennial employees. The needs of millennial candidates are probably a major factor in your benefits considerations, as they should be. But what exactly is it that millennials are looking for?
Flexible work schedule
The 9-5 work day is dying. Employees are plugging in outside of the office; they’re reading emails on their phones, answering Slack messages while watching TV at home, and checking in on weekends. The flexibility of coming into the office when employees are most productive is actually beneficial to both you and your employees. If possible for your organization, allow employees the option to work from home and/or offer flexible work hours. Create parameters for these benefits to ensure both management and employees are happy and comfortable with the policies in place.
Fifty-six percent of millennials said they had vigorously worked out within the last 24 hours of taking this Pew Research Poll. Millennials are ditching regular machine-and-free-weights gyms for boutique gyms and community-based exercise classes. These niche gym classes come with a hefty price tag and might cost $34 per class or workout session. Because millennials are already going to the gym (and probably active members in your wellness programs), they’re very interested in gym reimbursements. Encouraging your employees to exercise (which is good for their wellness and stress management!) by offering reimbursement is a win-win benefit.
Millennials prefer walking to driving and walkable communities to drivable ones, according to the 2015 National Community and Transportation Survey. They’re also the most likely age group to use public transportation. Offer a commuter expense reimbursement account, allowing your employees to use pre-tax dollars to pay for public transportation or parking. If possible, offer a match or small reimbursement to go towards your employee commuter costs.
Millennials ranked “being a good parent” at the top of the list when asked to rate how important a series of life goals were to them personally. With over 90% of new moms being millennials in 2015, they want to be supported by their organization and expect comprehensive family benefits, especially when prominent companies like Google and Etsy are leading the charge by offering competitive packages. The scope of family benefits includes maternity and paternity leave, maternity benefits such as free breast pumps, support for returning to work, and childcare options. The parents in your company are going to largely be millennials, so understanding and providing what they’re looking will help you recruit and retain top talent.
Speaking of family benefits, it’s important to understand that they really start before conception. Offering fertility benefits, including programs for natural conception, educational resources, and IVF treatment coverage, lets your employees know you support the idea of them starting families. These benefits tell your employees that you care about their wellbeing and personal goals outside of the workplace. Fertility and family benefits also tell your employees who are not currently trying to conceive that when they are ready or interested, you will be there for them.