The modern employee is a different beast than one you would’ve hired, say, 20 years ago, which means that modern employee benefits have changed too. Even if there haven’t been too many changes in terms of coverage of core employee benefits, some of these new types of employee offerings are extremely powerful in attracting especially the Millennial generation, the largest generation in today’s workforce. Getting a handle on these new types of perks will be crucial to any business attempting to attract and retain solid employees.
Flexible Remote Work is Huge
Millennials grew up watching their parents work long hours, and many have vowed never to have to suffer the same. Old-timers might say that these “young’uns” are just lazy and don’t know the value of honest work–but the response is that when unified communications and other technological solutions exist that make working from home possible, why wouldn’t you do it? Gen X’ers tend to agree, and it’s because when people have more autonomy, they tend to be happier. In fact, businesses that let employees work how they want to work, when they want to work, they’ll find that their teams are actually more productive.
A word of caution–remote work like this requires solid communication and planning. On top of that, there are a number of benefits to having a central office in conjunction with remote work. Do whatever works for you and your team, but even just one day a week working from home can make a huge difference to your people.
Loan Repayment is on the Rise
Considering that Millennials are nearly $1.3 trillion in student loan debt collectively, it’s easy to see why employer purchased student loan assistance is one of the fastest growing employee benefit offerings in the country. Below is a chart showing the average outstanding student loan debt by degree:
By offering loan repayment options, employer show prospective hires that they’re concerned with their well-being and willing to help them out with the biggest expense, for many, of their lives thus far.
Employees Care About Health and Wellness
According to Cleveland.com, 54% of employers offered wellness resources and information in 1996, while around 72% do today. While there are plenty of programs that have remained the same over the years, such as smoking cessation offerings and weight loss classes, new takes on these benefits stick in employee’s minds. Free gym memberships, health and lifestyle coaching, and onsite flu vaccinations are all great–but the icing on the cake is what people are really looking for. Simple additions such as a standing desk, an onsite fitness center, and even a quiet room/meditation room for employees to take breaks or work quietly in have all become increasingly popular.
Employees new to the market are also concerned with benefits beyond their own; organizations that are consistently taking steps to be environmentally conscious, show they they are helping their community, and otherwise pursuing purpose elevated beyond “making money.” Millennials are very big into this, so if you don’t have a healthy sense of purpose, get one.
The biggest thing to remember beyond this list of tips is that you need to treat your employees well. Treat them like you’d want to be treated if you were in their position, because they’re the ones that make your business tick. Adopting a Millennial-friendly and employee-centric benefits program that truly works is tough–but it’s crucial to the future of your work environment. Make sure you’re not skimping where it truly matters.