A lot of generalizations have been made about millennials, considered anyone reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century. A lot of what is said about them isn’t particularly flattering: they’re privileged, entitled, spoiled and, of particular interest to business owners, job-hoppers.
The truth is, older generations have always had complaints about up-and-coming young people as a whole. Here’s another truth. Contrary to perceptions, millennials actually rate contributing to society, equality and leadership high on the list of what’s important to them.
As a business owner or manager, you no doubt interact with employees from this group. Maybe you detect a sense of frustration and dissatisfaction on their part. Don’t take it personally; many millennials feel they face a different kind of work environment than their parents did. They long to be satisfied with work, and a lot of companies are taking notice.
What makes them happy? It’s not just about a better wage. Here are some of the key work benefits that millennials value the most.
1. Health Care
Like the UN, young people in the millennial generation generally believe that heath care is a right. They want to work for companies that provide health benefits. We already know that healthy employees are more productive, so this one is easy enough to get behind.
For all the talk about work-life balance, not a lot of progress has been made with it in the United States. Yet one survey found that 35% of millennials value flexible work schedules over pay. According to the survey, they want to be able to come into and go home from work when they can avoid commuter traffic, and they want the flexibility to take off time for things like appointments, voting on Election Day and even visiting with friends and family.
3. Career and Personal Development
The career landscape is changing, and millennials want to learn and grow so they can acquire new skills. Some forward-thinking companies are developing cross-training teams and creating other special learning programs that enable employees to understand other aspects of the business.
4. Help With Paying Off Student Loans
As a whole, Americans owe $1.4 trillion in student loan debt. That’s 44 million college-educated folks who each owe about $38,000 in student loans. Small wonder that student loan repayment is growing in popularity as an employee benefit. While some employers may see this as dollars down the drain, in reality, taking some of the financial debt off employees’ shoulders can build loyalty and help a company retain valuable employees.
Employee recruitment and satisfaction are key to a successful business. Pay attention to what the millennial workforce wants from a job, offer those benefits if at all possible and it can be possible to keep happy, productive employees for years.