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What benefits do millennial employees want?

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Millennials, born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, have unique preferences and priorities when it comes to what they want from their career and their employer. And as it is estimated that millennials comprise more than 50% of the global workforce, companies need to consider these if they want to attract top talent and retain skilled employees.

Benefits are a crucial component of what organisations have to offer employees and there is evidence to suggest that millennials focus on employee benefits more than the salary of a role when job hunting. 89% of millennials prioritise benefits over pay raises, and 83% of millennials would change their job for better benefits. But why is this? Well, it’s because millennials want to work for companies that value them as individuals, and where professional and personal growth is supported and actively encouraged. Millennials recognise that their wellbeing and work-life balance are worth more than a pay packet, so seek employers that align with this point of view.

So, what benefits do millennial employees want? In this article, we put forward suggestions for employee benefits that can make a positive difference to those employees aged 25-40, as well as the businesses that implement them.

What are the most important benefits for millennials?

The workforce is multigenerational comprising baby boomers, Generation X, millennials, and Generation Z and each generation has different work characteristics. Baby boomers, for example, are known to be ambitious and hardworking, yet this often sees them titled as workaholics. Millennials are tech-savvy and have a passion for learning but seek meaningful work where diversity and change are valued.

Therefore, the benefits that millennials want echo these sentiments with a key focus on diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI), employee wellness and social responsibility. Such benefits can include:

Health insurance

The rise of employee health benefits signals that companies are recognising the need to protect their most important asset (their people) and that employees are focusing on their individual wellbeing. Comprehensive health coverage, including medical, dental, and vision insurance is commonplace in many businesses but when it comes to millennials, accessibility is key. That’s why health benefits such as virtual clinics, being able to have a GP appointment via smartphone and medication deliveries are worth considering. 

Flexible work arrangements

Millennials appreciate the ability to have flexible work hours, remote work options, or alternative work schedules that allow them to achieve a better work-life balance. For example, 71% of working millennials want the opportunity to do an overseas assignment throughout their career and 31% would like their employer to implement a four-day workweek.

Student loan assistance

Many millennials are burdened by student loan debt, and just 5% are projected to have paid this off in full by the age of 40. Employee assistance programs that offer repayment contributions or refinancing options can greatly alleviate financial stress.

Professional development and training

Millennials are dedicated to personal learning and value opportunities for career growth and skill development. A survey by PwC found that this was actually the first choice of benefit for millennial employees. This is why employers that provide training programs, mentorship initiatives, or tuition reimbursement are often more appealing to them.

Mental health support

Nearly 4 in 10 millennials say that they feel stressed or anxious at work all or most of the time and 49% say they feel burned out. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) and mental health resources, including counselling services and stress management programs, demonstrate an employer’s commitment to supporting millennials’ wellbeing.

Fertility assistance

15% of the population experiences infertility and undergoing fertility treatment can take a significant financial and emotional toll. Moreover, the number of same-sex families has grown considerably in recent years and LGBTQ+ individuals have a much higher likelihood of needing support to extend their families, yet most don’t qualify for NHS funding.

Supporting employees through IVF and other family-forming processes can help alleviate some of the hardships that employees face concerning infertility and family planning. Fertility benefits for employees also demonstrate to your staff and the public that you are a family-friendly workplace that doesn’t expect their employees to sacrifice expanding their family for their career or vice versa.

Work-life balance initiatives

95% of millennials say that work-life balance is important to them. Benefits like flexible scheduling, telecommuting options, and programs that promote work-life balance, such as wellness programs and on-site gyms can, therefore, help millennials achieve equilibrium in their careers and personal lives.

Financial wellness programs

Support for financial planning, including access to financial advisors, budgeting tools, and workshops on personal finance, can help millennials manage their finances and reduce financial stress. This is particularly pertinent given that their longer-term financial futures are a top concern for millennials. Cost of living support for employees should also be a top priority as 55% of millennials state they live payday to payday.

Paid parental leave

Millennials value family-friendly policies, including generous maternity and paternity leave benefits, as they seek to balance their professional and personal lives. Employers are therefore making changes in line with this, with the number of jobs offering generous and extended parental leave alone rose by 201% between 2018 and 2021.

Employee recognition and rewards

Programs that acknowledge and reward employees for their contributions, such as performance bonuses, public recognition, or employee of the month awards, are appreciated by millennials. This is because, as a generation, they desire regular feedback, encouragement, and validation.

Diversity and inclusion initiatives

83% of millennial employees are actively engaged when they feel their organisation encourages an inclusive culture and 8% of millennials believe that a good diversity and equal opportunities record makes an employer more attractive. Employers can foster a diverse and inclusive environment through initiatives like employee resource groups and bias training. LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace is a particularly important consideration given that employees who feel like they belong at work see a 56% improvement in performance yet 35% of LGBT individuals conceal their true self at work due to fear of discrimination.

Employee wellness programs

Wellness initiatives that promote physical fitness, mental health, and overall wellbeing, such as gym memberships, meditation apps, or wellness challenges, resonate with millennials who prioritise their wellbeing and like using online tools. For example, a survey from Les Mills, a global exercise provider, found that 73% of millennial employees would like access to digital workouts.

Employee discounts and perks

Discounts on products and services, such as gym memberships, travel, entertainment, and groceries can help millennials stretch their income and enhance their quality of life. This can aid them in navigating the ever-increasing cost of living, contribute to their overall wellness, and help them feel valued.

Social responsibility initiatives

Millennials often seek employers that align with their values and contribute to social causes and 35% have made choices about the organisations they’re willing to work for based on their personal beliefs and ethics. That’s why benefits that support volunteerism and community involvement, and corporate social responsibility programs can be appealing to millennials.In summary, the benefits that millennials want are those that align with their goals and values, both in and out of work. If you want to be an employer that meets the needs of millennial employees and fosters a diverse, inclusive, and family-friendly workplace, then Apryl can help. We work with employers to implement comprehensive fertility and family-forming benefits. Find out more about fertility benefits for companies and how they support employees on their path to parenthood regardless of gender, sexual orientation or relationship status.

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