Millennials, generally those born between 1981 and 1996, face a much different working environment than previous generations did. They’re also now the largest segment of employed people in the United States, and by 2020, they’re expected to make up 50% of the workforce.
If your company has millennial employees, or if you’re anticipating hiring fresh talent from this generation as workplace demographics shift, it’s important to better understand the perks that attract this group. Here’s a look into the most important benefits for millennials.
1. Flexible work schedule
According to Forbes, “35% of millennials say they value schedule flexibility over pay.” They’re interested in cultivating a work-life balance that allows them more time to focus on their personal interests, in addition to doing fulfilling work at their jobs. Flexibility means you as an employer may provide more freedom in how your employees can prioritize their time.
Flexible schedule examples
- Flex time. Working hours that deviate from the typical 9–5 schedule
- Work from home. Telecommuting or working remotely one or two days a week
- Compressed work week. Compressing their 40-hour work week into four days to have three-day weekends
Incorporating flexible schedules into your workplace can help employees feel as though they have more control over their lives and more time to take care of other obligations. As a result, you may experience reduced employee turnover and missed days from your workers.
2. Healthcare plans
Access to employer-provided health insurance policies is frequently cited among the main benefits millennial workers want from their employers. While many members of this demographic are healthy, they often can’t afford, or worry about having to afford, high out-of-pocket medical costs.
Health insurance options
Millennials also have different preferences when it comes to health insurance plans. Mainly, they want flexibility.  Some are relatively risk averse and prefer choosing higher-premium, lower-deductible plans over catastrophic and low-tier plans. Others prefer bare-minimum coverage. Ensuring you have a range of options may very well help attract and retain this group.
Providing health insurance with wellness programs like mobile app appointments, mental health coverage, telehealth options, and walk-in clinic coverage can be an effective way to meet this need for flexibility and choices. You could also subsidize the cost of gym memberships for workers. Healthier employees are more productive employees, so you may decide that offering this incentive is worth the investment.
3. Student loan repayment assistance
Having large student loan balances is one reason why many millennials delay big life decisions like buying homes or having children. This debt may make millennials feel as though they’re not secure enough to make some of those larger leaps toward traditional milestones of adulthood. As a result, about 88% of millennial workers say that assistance with paying back student loans is an important benefit from employers, according to Employee Benefit News.
Despite such a large percentage of surveyed millennials citing the significance of repayment assistance, it’s a relatively uncommon benefit for employers to offer. This means you have an opportunity to provide a benefit that millennials might not find elsewhere. It differentiates you from other businesses and may be a deciding factor that attracts talented millennials to your company. This can reduce their stress on the job and increase job satisfaction, which may result in improved focus and productivity.
4. A great company culture
Millennials don’t just want to clock in and earn a paycheck — they want to know the work they’re doing contributes to society in a meaningful way. Although it’s not a benefit in the traditional sense, having a conscientious company mission that aims to improve your local community may help millennial employees feel more connected to their jobs. You might also consider organizing volunteer opportunities for workers to contribute as a group for a local or national charity. These are powerful ways to impact your community while helping workers bond and create the emotional connections they value.
Setting your business up for success involves providing benefits that resonate with employees. Get ready for the next generation of talent by reconfiguring your perks to appeal to millennials.
Some perks for employees don’t have to impact your bottom line, either. Learn more about additional ways to reward employees that are affordable for you and morale-boosting for workers.