Millennials have largely upended how employee benefits are viewed. While many previous generations simply looked for a job that made financial sense— good pay, healthcare, a pension, etc.— the new generation of workers demands benefits that extend into entirely different areas.
One common way to summarize the viewpoint of many millennials is that they’re not looking for work-life balance; rather, they are looking for work-life integration. They want their professional and personal lives to be working towards the same goals.
This article will describe six employee benefits that you, as a millennial, should seek.
With the enhanced capabilities of the internet, it is much easier to work effectively outside of the traditional workplace. Unsurprisingly, many millennials demand to be able to work from home, Starbucks, or another non-office location.
In fact, one expert claims that 60% of us expect to be able to work from home. Furthermore, 70% of us don’t believe that regular attendance is required at the workplace.
These are two statistics that would have been unthinkable for previous generations.
With healthy employees comes a healthy company. As personal and professional lives further blend, it has become clear that millennials demand access to benefits that improve their health.
These benefits include therapists, yoga and gym memberships, dog walkers, childcare providers, and healthy food. We often demand benefits that our parents would never have dared to ask for, but we’re willing to work harder, and possibly even give up certain perks, in pursuit of enhancing our overall lifestyle.
For both ourselves and our employers, the importance of health cannot be emphasized enough.
Gone are the days during which young employees were satisfied with a rigid benefits plan. As millennials, we want the ability to pick and choose the benefits we desire.
“Cafeteria plans” are one popular way for us to do that. These plans allow for employees to designate what specific benefits they want.
For example, you may already have health insurance— you’re either under your parents’ plan or that of your spouse. You’d be able to use the funds that your employer would designate for your healthcare for another benefit, such as dental insurance.
This is simply another item of flexibility that has come to make sense.
Constant Feedback and Progression
As millennials, we have begun to demand constant feedback from our employers. This feedback often comes in the form of performance assessments, which can lead to grander professional development opportunities.
Our demand for evaluation can seem needy to some employers, but the truth of the matter is that it signifies our feeling fulfilled. Since we always need to feel like we’re learning and growing, we often get bored at companies that cannot provide this form of support. Ultimately, this can lead to our departure from a firm.
It may come as a surprise, even to us, that a Pricewaterhouse Coopers study found that millennials most value opportunities for advancement insofar as job traits are concerned. This quality beat out competitive wages, good benefits packages, and flexible working arrangements.
All in all, millennials should look for career pathing or skills development programs at a prospective company. Training and mentoring can help immensely in the long run.
No Questions Asked Time Off
Many companies have traditionally offered different forms of paid time off (PTO). Millennials have made it clear that they want these various types of paid time off to be merged together.
For example, in the past, a company may have had different buckets for vacation time and sick leave. Most of us wouldn’t want companies to distinguish the two.
An increasingly common practice for companies is to offer unlimited PTO. Surprisingly, a number of companies have found that unlimited PTO actually leads to the same or less work absence as there would be at a company lacking this policy.
It has been reported that, including holidays, five weeks is a common amount of time to expect millennial employees to miss under any type of PTO policy.
As aforementioned, a big part of what we seek for on the job as millennials is flexibility, and this ends up factoring into how we look at scheduling.
A 9-5 job is no longer necessarily the norm, and this becomes even more evident in how our professional and personal lives intermingle. As there are more personal circumstances that affect our professional life, we need flexibility to be able to complete our work when is best for us.
One solution to this need has been flex time. Flex time can take many forms; for example, it can deal with the hours of the day worked, the number of days a week worked, etc.
Flex time is often adopted to allow one to fulfill their non-work responsibilities, but it can also simply be taken on as a lifestyle choice. Many people operate better during certain parts of the day or week.