Posted April 1, 2019
Millennials make up 35 percent of today’s labor force. Born between 1981 to 1996, millennials will comprise 75 percent of employees by 2025. Employers are struggling to find and keep top millennial workers as high base salaries and traditional benefits packages no longer provide a competitive advantage. Instead, employers must provide the benefits and perks millennials value most.
Provide customized health benefits
Millennials want benefits they can tailor to their needs. Studies show that 73 percent of younger workers say having flexible benefits increases loyalty to their employer. At the top of the list of benefits that millennials value is medical care, but they also expect to find dental, vision and LASIK options in their benefits packages.
Offer financial well-being programs
In addition to health benefits, millennials expect financial well-being programs that assist them with budgeting and saving for future expenses. Research shows that three in 10 millennials have less than $1,000 in personal savings; 24 percent have no personal savings. Nearly two-thirds of millennials say they would have difficulty paying an unexpected bill of $1,000 right away. Find out more tips on offering financial well-being programs by reading this blog.
But employers who want to recruit and retain the best employees also should provide a benefit that helps repay student loan debt. Many millennials owe on average $35,000 in student loans. Among the 2018 college graduates, 69 percent had student loans. This is a significant debt that many will be paying on for over 20 years.
One way employers can assist millennials in repaying student loans and saving for the future is by educating them on 401(k) matching funds. Most employers offer a 401(k) matching funds program, but employees leave nearly $24 billion in match funds on the table each year. Millennials say they don’t take advantage of this program because they have little money left after making their monthly student loan payment and covering basic living expenses.
Employers can offer a student loan repayment benefit where employees can choose to apply all of their 401(k) match funds toward a student loan repayment. Or, they can direct half of the match funds toward a student loan payment and save the rest for retirement.
Read this blog to learn more about the student loan benefit.
Encourage schedule flexibility, work-life balance
Millennials want the option to work in the office or at home. They appreciate the flexibility to adjust their work schedule to accommodate personal or family needs.
Working collaboratively with co-workers on projects is important to millennials. So, employers should develop a culture that encourages employee engagement and connections with team members across the organization.
Provide learning experiences
Many millennials want opportunities to grow personally and professionally and develop new skills and knowledge. They look for employers who support their interests. Millennials may decide to look for other jobs if their current employer doesn’t provide continuous training opportunities.