What Benefits Do Millennials Want in the Workplace?

11175716_sThe youngest generation of candidates and employees, The Millennials, are on point to become the majority of workers in the workplace today. There are a lot of ideas, opinions, perceptions, and misconceptions about those aged 13 to 34 who will dominate the workplace within five years. There are some negative ideas about Millennials, such as that they’re lazy, impatient, rude, entitled. But the reality is simply that the newest generation hitting the workforce has grown up differently than the silent generation, the Baby Boomers, and the Gen X’ers before them.

According to Pew Research Center, Millennials are not invested in religion or politics, are burdened by debt, are not trusting of others, stay connected with social media, are not in any hurry to marry, but are still optimistic about the future. Jobvite, a leading social recruiting software solutions company, knows what appeals to the Millennial generation. Jobvite Marketing Manager Shamita Jayakumar says Jobvite data shows that large corporations lose Millennials to startups, so it’s important for employers to understand what this younger generation of workers wants in an employer and from their work, including what benefits they look for and which ones don’t matter to them.


They Value Creativity, Even in Benefits

Millennials value and seek out creativity and novelty, and that extends to benefits. Jobvite’s Jayakumar says unconventional benefits that their customers say are appreciated and sought after by their Millennial workers include things like a Zen room for employees to nap or get acupuncture or massages, office pets or therapy dogs, and on-site gyms. Jayakumar explains that this preference for creativity in benefits even extends to the environment, and that’s why Jobvite’s conference rooms are named for superheroes and collaboration areas are named after alter egos. Millennials are turned off by conventions such as numbering conference rooms and using themes in the workplace appeals to them.

You might not think of food and drink as benefits, but Jobvite’s Jayakumar explains that they are important to Millennials, who believe in working hard and want that recognized and rewarded in ways that nurture them. Jobvite’s culture includes attending meetings with “bevy in hand” and Jayakumar says that drinking alcohol at work is “generally acceptable” for Millennials putting in extra time and effort to build companies and push important projects.


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They Want More Choices in Benefits

Millennials aren’t interested in skimpy or fixed benefits plans. They want to choose their benefits, and they want a choice in what types of benefits are available. Forbes contributor Alyson Krueger talked with Benefitfocus product manager Cindi Van Meir at the Human Resource Executive® Health & Benefits Leadership Conference in Las Vegas about Millennials and benefits. She explained that employers who innovate by offering Millennials a generous amount of money to buy from a range of different benefits and provide comprehensive information about benefits are the ones who will appeal to Millennials.


They Think Differently About Benefits

Millennials don’t think of benefits as just medical and dental insurance and a 401k plan. Jobvite’s Finnegan says Millennials are very different than their parents and grandparents, especially when it comes to work. They’re distrustful and resentful of the workplace, meaning that employers have to work harder to attract, hire, and retain them. They think of benefits in terms of work/life balance, meaningful work, and training and development in addition to traditional income-protection benefits like medical, dental, and life insurance. Millennials value flexible work schedules and fun perks that allow them to spend time with family and enjoy themselves when they are at work. They want to more than rote busy work, and are attracted to positions that are varied and interesting. They are not satisfied working at the same job for extended periods of time and want opportunities for training and development to improve current skills and gain new skills.

Jobvite’s Finnigan says Millennials view a company’s innovation as a benefit because they value creativity. They are not satisfied working where they are not encouraged to think creatively, or where there are barriers between employees and management, or in workplaces without diversity. Because they’re tech-savvy, socially conscious, and eager to learn, employers have to provide different benefits that appeal to Millennials. How do your benefits look to the Millennials you want to attract and hire?


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