Engage your workforce throughout the employee lifecycle by understanding the mindset to manage Millennials.
While overall good management practices are important, Millennials continue to expand their workplace presence. Effective methods for engaging this influential group are likely to work for those entering, and exiting, the workforce as well.
The geography of Millennials—what do you need to know?
A report from the White House identified key aspects of Millennials and what factors shape their attitudes. Some of these points include:
- It is true—Millennials are currently the largest defined generation in the U.S. population: While Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and approximately 1963, maintain a significant economic and cultural impact, their numbers are drawing down with retirement and age. Millennials now compose approximately one-third of the population of the U.S.
- Tech counts: The technological advances of the era prior to the birth of Millennials paved the way for the technological platforms we depend on today. Raised in the Tech Age, not the Space Age, Millennials naturally gravitate toward development, consumption, and production of content and services provided through rapidly-changing technology.
- Lifestyle and family counts—later: If they choose to marry, Millennials do so later, and are less likely to enter the housing market. Plus—Millennials may have spent more time with their parents and family as they were growing up, leading to closer ties and connections to their community as they age. Culture—and company culture—are important. Given changes in the availability of health care in America, Millennials have had better access to health care, and value that benefit as they move into, and through, their careers.
- Money matters too: With the Great Recession and few jobs available upon graduation, Millennials stayed in school, increased their skills—and their student loan debt. The looming lifetime process of paying back student loans figures prominently in employment choices for Millennials.
So what kind of perks really count?
With the background of your Millennial workforce come some clues to the types of benefits and perks that could help keep employees engaged—and employed.
A recent Bloomberg article starts off with a headline that reads “Office Perks are Dumb.” The piece goes on to talk about some standard (beanbags, casual attire, ping-pong tables) and less-standard perks being deployed by companies increasingly desperate to retain employees (electronic music, craft beer, and free eats).
As with any good engagement process, it is important to understand the perspective of your target. In this case Millennials, and other demographic worker groups, are interested in something more than an overlay of cool stuff that does not necessarily advance their personal or career goals.
When thinking about perks that matter, consider the following:
- More pay: Many employees would rather have the money to balance their budget, pay off their student loan, or help them save toward goals currently out of reach. Offering (and demonstrating) a viable path toward higher income gives employees a reason to stay the course with your business—instead of the one to three years usually required to jump to a higher pay grade at your competitor. Some companies offer tuition reimbursement for those seeking education, and contributions to student loans for employees with some company tenure.
- Health insurance: While migration away from employee-paid healthcare was predicted with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), workers have generally not been set adrift to obtain and manage their own coverage. Noting the desirability of health insurance for employee satisfaction and retention, senior vice president for Lowe’s Company, Robert Ihrie stated in a New York Times article, “We’re more confident than ever that we’ll offer benefits.”
- Flexible (but regular) schedule: For a generation raised with technology, and aiming for work-life balance, Millennials are interested in both stability and flexibility. Working from home, or working partially at home is an attractive perk. Increasingly, Millennials raising families are also dealing with aging parents. The capability to handle, and balance, the demands of life instead of picking one or the other, is highly valued by many workers.
There are lots more perks—fitness and wellness programs, retirement contributions, assistance with financial and lifetime planning, discounts, bonuses, and paid sick and parental leave, among many.
When you want to keep valuable talent engaged—meet them where they are at—with real benefits, and the right perks. And when you need high-quality software to recruit or onboard, talk to us at Brightmove.