Millennials are our largest group of employees in the United States. While a lot of pundits still choose to label Millennials as high school students or college-age, the oldest Millennials are now approaching forty years of age! They’re in their prime working years, and they’re in your company, looking at your job listings, or considering their next move right now. How can you connect with the needs of this much-maligned and misunderstood generation?
The majority of Millennials will leave their current job within three years. Studies have found Millennials are looking for a workplace which fits their ideas of culture, a place where they can socialize and have fun, with coworkers they regard as their second family.
Some companies have mistaken this as a need for structured playtime like department happy hours. But mistaking workplace mixers for organic friendships and an inclusive atmosphere overlooks another key Millennials really want from their job: work-life balance. Mandatory fun isn’t the key to creating a work family from a grouping of workers.
Instead, it’s all about the workplace culture: the ability to feel casual with coworkers, laugh and chat, share stories and swap life advice. Even remote workplaces can offer this, with chat channels dedicated to fun, Zoom lunch dates between colleagues, and a general willingness to approach work in a more holistic, familial way.
Millennials have shown, time and time again, they’re looking for flexibility. This bears repeating as our society continues to deal with a global pandemic. Quarantines and virus outbreaks can throw the careful plans of parents and caregivers into turmoil; fears of contamination and infection at the office or on the commute are growing.
Before the pandemic, Millennials already knew they could work from anywhere, and trends indicate this generation was starting to chafe at restrictive hours and required workstations from the word go. With tech stepping up to replace offices and even turning many customer service positions which were once face-to-face into home-working opportunities, employers stepping up to the plate and offering flexible working will be rewarded with loyalty.
75% of Millennials want a mentor to help them grow and succeed (PGI Study). Millennials see mentorship from an experienced leader as a key to professional success. Offering a mentorship program could be an attractive benefit to Millennial talent; starting one now could strengthen your retention and keep Millennial eyes from straying to new companies with stronger development offerings.
Trust-based relationships with leaders who are available to suggest solutions and offer advice will go a long way towards creating your next generation of leadership from within your company’s own ranks.
Benefits Addressing Their Needs
Millennials entered the workforce saddled with debt, and many of them still struggle with the efforts to repay student loans, the rising costs of housing, and family expenses such as daycare and school sports. Their benefit needs can sometimes feel outstripped by constant bills and compounding interest.
Unsurprising, then, that nearly half of Millennials polled by the American Institute of CPAS (AICPA) said that student loan forgiveness would be an important benefit for them. Student loan repayment programs could be the hottest ticket in compensation for Millennials. Take a look at these numbers:
A study by the American Student Assistance found that 86% of employees would commit to a company for five years if the employer helped pay back their student loans. A whopping 92% would like a 401(k)-style match from employers to pay their loans off. And a sizable majority would also like to use long-term financial planning tools or have access to a student loan debt counselor.
Are you building a better benefits strategy to continue attracting and retaining Millennial talent to your company? Talk to WBD! Our programs streamline both your employee-facing and internal benefits administration, creating seamless integrations between benefits providers, payroll, employee administration, and more. Take a look at what WBD can do you for your company here.