Millennials are attracted tocompanies that embrace social responsibility, and time off forvolunteering is a benefit that can help recruit engaged, ambitiousand committed employees.

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The impact of the millennial population is being felt in theworkplace, reshaping many operational areas, including employeebenefits. This year, the millennial generation is expected tobecome the largest living adult generation, overtaking baby boomers. This generational shift isreflected in the demographics of the U.S. workplace, where morethan one in three employees (35 percent) aremillennials, making them the largest generation in the U.S. laborforce, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. CensusBureau data.

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As a result of this shift, companies are finding they need toadapt their employee benefits to attract top millennialtalent and to meet the needs of this growing workplacedemographic.

Paid time off

One of the ways businesses can reach this demographic is bylooking at offering paid time off (PTO) benefits that stand outfrom other companies. This could be in the form of half-day Fridaysthat allow employees to leave every other Friday, providing extratime off and promoting the work-life balance millennials value.

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Related: 10 best companies for vacation and paid timeoff

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Giving employees their birthday off is another low-cost benefitand a “gift” from the company that can also keep millennialemployees happy and engaged.

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One of the most appreciated PTO benefits companies can offer isgiving employees the holidays off without charging them vacationdays. More companies are simply shutting down the week betweenChristmas and New Year. Giving employees this typicallyunproductive week off is a great perk, an excellent tool foremployee engagement and an effective recruiting aid. It can also bea plus for managers, who don't have to decide who works during theholidays and who gets it off.

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Volunteer time off (VTO) that allows employees PTO to volunteerat charitable causes is a tangible benefit that resonates withmillennials. Millennials are attracted to companies that embracesocial responsibility, and VTO is a benefitthat can help recruit engaged, ambitious and committedemployees.

High tech health care

In a split from the generations that came before them,millennials are ditching primary care doctors. Millennialpreferences for convenience and tech-based solutions are upendingthe traditional model of office-based doctor's appointments infavor of telemedicine.

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To keep up with this trend, offering a health care plan thatallows them to leverage technology in plan usage is a great drawfor millennial workers who want to see a doctor without actuallygoing to the doctor.

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Millennials have a different set of expectations than priorgenerations when it comes to health care, and businesses shouldensure the health care plans they offer feature digital componentsthat provide the ease of access and convenience millennialsdesire.

Wellness

Adapting any benefit program to millennials should includeoffering programs that support the millennial generation's strongfocus on healthy living and healthy habits. Businessescan tap into this millennial health and wellness priority byoffering programs like in-office yoga or wellness hours that allowemployees to leave the office early so they can attend fitnessclasses.

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Offering wellness programs like these demonstrate that thecompany takes an active role in the overall health and well-beingof their employees – something that is highly prioritized andvalued by the millennial generation.

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Millennials are helping to reshape the workplace, and it iscritical for employers to understand the priorities andexpectations of this demographic in order to offer a combination ofbenefits that attract and retain top millennial talent. To achievethis, companies will need to “millennialize” their benefit packagesby adapting them to include offerings this generation values,including a variety of paid time off options, high tech healthcare,and wellness programs that help support healthy habits.


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Catriona Harrisis CEO of Uproar PR, where she oversees the dailyoperations of the agency and provides the vision for newinitiatives and strategies that will drive outstanding results forclients. 

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