This year, Millennials became the largest living generation in the U.S., surpassing Baby Boomers. With each passing year, Millennials and their successors, known as Generation Z, are becoming a more prevalent part of the workforce. This new generation of workers is shaping the way companies are engaging their employees. There is a distinct shift in how employers are approaching employee benefits, which we’re seeing in the rise of 3 major job perks.
Student Loan Repayment
Student loan repayment programs have been hailed as the hottest new trend in the benefits world. The perk garnered a lot of media attention after PricewaterhouseCoopers announced their program of helping employees pay off their student loans. In reality, it’s only about 3% of companies that offer this benefit. But the point is, it’s turning a lot of heads. It’s a highly sought after employee benefit that’s not only designed to attract top talent, but goes a step further by encouraging retention in a generation notorious for jumping from job to job. The longer an employee stays with a company offering student loan assistance, the more they can pay off their debt. It’s a financial investment for employers, but at the same time, it’s a very strategic way to cater to the growing Millennial workforce.
This one is not a new concept by any means, but there is no denying the recent rise of flexible working arrangements. It’s quickly becoming standard practice to offer either the ability to work from home or the ability to have flexible hours outside the regular 8 to 5. A survey conducted by Randstad revealed that Millennials and Gen Z ranked workplace flexibility even above healthcare coverage. This is a generation that prioritizes a healthy work-life balance, and employers are responding by integrating those values into the way the company operates.
Millennials are holding off on having kids until later, and in the meantime they’re becoming pet parents instead. Now more than ever, pets are considered a member of the family. As a result, we’re seeing an increase in the popularity of pet-friendly workplaces. Companies are allowing employees to bring their dog to work, which is giving them a serious edge over their competitors. Dog-friendly offices are commended for boosting morale, improving employee interaction and collaboration, and promoting flexibility so that pet owners don’t have to rush home at the end of the day. Another crowd-pleaser with pet owners is the addition of pet insurance to their voluntary benefits package. It’s a seemingly small add-on for employers to offer, but it makes a big difference to employees dealing with rising veterinary costs.
It is projected that Millennials will make up nearly half of the workforce by 2020. As employee benefits become more tailored to the Millennial workforce, the key takeaway from these up and coming trends is the emphasis on longevity. Recruiting is important of course, but retention is the real focal point. No matter the size of the company, it’s important for employers to understand and appeal to the wants and needs of this new generation of employees. Otherwise, you can be sure they will find another company that will.