Millennials are now the largest generation in the American workforce. This generation has its own unique preferences for workplace benefits, especially flexible benefits. For your business to keep hiring and retaining the best employees, you need to figure out how to adjust your benefits for millennial workers.
Attractive Benefits for Millennials
Millennial workers have a clear preference for flexible benefits compared to past generations. In a 2016 survey by Tower Watsons, 46 percent of millennials rated flexibility as more important than money. Some benefits that would appeal to millennials include the ability to work from home more often, flexible scheduling where employees can set their hours and more vacation days.
You can also add more flexibility and choice to your traditional benefits. For example, rather than offering one health insurance plan that offers a high level of coverage, you can offer a cafeteria style system where employees can mix and match benefits. An employee could accept less health care coverage in exchange for some dental and vision coverage.
Millennials are also more in debt than any other generation, especially with student loans. One reason they may not use your retirement plan is because they have other immediate financial priorities. Student loan repayment programs are a new type of attractive benefit for millennials and could be another nice alternative to your retirement plan.
Update Traditional Benefits
Despite all the press about how millennials are completely different than other generations, they still appreciate traditional benefits and will value these benefits even more as they get older. It would be a mistake to stop offering them.
To make your traditional benefits more appealing to your younger workers, you can add extra features instead. For example, consider supplementing your health insurance with a workplace wellness plan that offers yoga classes and gym memberships. Not only will this help your business stand out with younger workers, these programs are also great at keeping your employees healthier so health care costs stay down.
Since younger workers have less experience with benefits, they also might not understand what you offer. Teaching your younger employees about their benefits will help them appreciate them more. For example, showing your employees just how much they will gain per year if they max out your 401(k) matching contributions.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Millennials grew up using technology and that’s how they like to communicate. According to PWC, 41 percent of millennials said they prefer communicating electronically versus in-person or by phone. If your benefits still communicate by mail or phone, the message might not make it to your younger workers.
Once again, you can tweak your benefits to include more technology rather than revamping everything. For example, you could use a health insurance plan that offers telehealth, where employees can contact a doctor through video-calling versus a live appointment. Online financial planning is another great benefit that will appeal to this preference for technology.
Millennial workers are different than previous generations but they aren’t that different. By following this advice, you can adjust your benefits to make your entire workforce happy.