This year, millennials surpassed baby boomers to officially become the country’s largest generation, and just last year, millennials outgrew Generation X to become the largest portion of the U.S. workforce.
Millennials are unlike any other generation that has entered the workplace, and their presence has already inspired corporations to make massive changes to the way they do business.
Corporations are breaking down cubicle walls to encourage collaboration and throwing the standard 9-5 working day out the window to accommodate this generation’s desire for a flexible schedule.
It’s clear that the workplace is changing, but are your benefits packages?
The traditional packages that appealed to baby boomers and Generation X may not be as attractive to millennials, so if you want to stay competitive, you have to adapt to the times.
What adjustments do you need to make? Here’s a look at what benefits millennials want the most:
Don’t forget about their furry friends
Millennials are waiting longer to have children compared to other generations, but that doesn’t mean they go home to an empty house every night.
It’s estimated that about two-thirds of millennial employees are pet owners, and to cater to their needs, employers are beginning to offer millennials pet benefits.
For example, over one-third of Fortune 500 companies now offer employees pet insurance as part of their benefits package.
Other companies allow millennials to bring their pets into work so they don’t have to feel guilty about spending long days at the office while their pet is at home alone.
If you truly want to appeal to millennials, show them your benefits will cover every member of their family — even their four-legged friends.
Millennials want to grow
Members of this generation are still in the early stages of their careers, so it’s important that they are given opportunities to grow and learn new skills. Employers should consider establishing a mentor program to entice millennials to work for a company.
The good news? This isn’t just a benefit for millennials to enjoy — employers benefit, too. The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey found millennials with a mentor were more likely to say they planned on staying with their current employer compared to millennials without a mentor.
This means employers who invest in a mentoring program won’t have to shell out as much to recruit, onboard, and train new employees when their current team of millennials jumps ship.
Another way millennials want to grow is through performance reviews. It’s been proven annual performance reviews are not enough to keep millennials satisfied.
If you want to keep this generation engaged, retrain your management team to evaluate and provide constructive feedback to millennials on a monthly basis — even if they’re too shy to ask for it.
Millennials are the “there’s an app for that” generation, meaning they are used to finding easier, more convenient ways to get things done.
If your benefits package can provide them with access to services that make their lives easier, you will be seen much more favorably by this generation. What kind of services would they be interested in?
Millennial parents want some sort of child care offered in their benefits package, either on-site daycare for employees or reimbursement for child care expenses.
Other millennials want their benefits to provide access to mental health professionals. This makes sense since this generation is said to experience more stress than other generations and has proven to be less capable of handling it according to the American Psychological Association.
When you design your benefits package, think of the average lifestyle of your millennial employees and add in these types of benefits that will be useful to them on a daily basis.
Pay based on performance
Compensation is not the only benefit that motivates millennials, but it’s still important to this generation.
However, unlike the generations before them, millennials do not want to be compensated based on their tenure with a company. Instead, they want to be paid based on how well they perform in their position.
Although many skeptics may believe this is because millennials have a reputation for job hopping, it’s more likely that performance-based compensation keeps them engaged with their jobs so they don’t lose interest or become bored with their daily tasks.
Considering the fact that 55 percent of millennials are disengaged at work, it’s important for employers to find new ways to keep this generation’s head in the game. However, figuring out a way to pay based on performance can be difficult for jobs that are not directly attached to sales, so this may be tricky for benefits managers.
Remember, millennials are tech-savvy and tend to thoroughly research potential employers before applying. This means they will look at everything from your online reviews to your benefits packages before deciding whether they should even apply for an open position.
Because millennials are such a large part of the workforce, it’s imperative you consider their needs when developing your benefits package. Keep these benefits in mind if you want to successfully recruit and retain experienced, sought after millennial employees.
Related: A closer look at job hopping