Perks of being able to work from home, having flexible work policies and remote jobs were once-novel perks found at startups and tech companies. These benefits are now becoming standard offerings for companies of all sizes and stages to appeal to millennial talent and the fact that the pandemic has changed the way companies work.
Millennials now make up the largest percentage of the workforce, who also happens to be the first digital native population. Millennials prioritize work-life balance and employer benefits over salary
Savvy companies are changing human resources policies and benefits to cater to the population that makes up the largest percentage of the workforce: millennials. The digital native population prioritizes work-life balance and employer benefits on an equal—or even higher—level to compensation. Many millennials are starting to rank work-life balance and flexibility as more important to them than compensation.
For employers, putting employee loyalty, job satisfaction, and work-life balance first pays off. Benefits like debt repayment programs, paid sabbaticals, and remote work flexibility help companies to attract and retain top talent, lowering costly turnover rates. These perks speak volumes to the overworked, burned-out population looking for a respite from the “always on” culture of the digital age.
Millennials and remote work
Millennials were the first generation to be raised with a steady access to technology. This generation doesn’t think of an office as the only place to be productive and successful. They want to take advantage of modern technology to better balance work and home life, as well as choose an environment in which they can be more productive.
In order to retain top employees for over five years, benefits and inclusivity have proven to have more of an impact than superficial perks. LinkedIn reports that strong benefit offerings, like PTO, parental leave, flexible work schedules, and better health care options, are connected with employees staying at companies past the five-year mark. Conversely, perks like game rooms and free food did not have the same correlation. Unlike the cash-strapped previous generations whose main concern for a career change was money, the idea of working from home a few days a week or reimbursement for family planning like egg freezing can relieve some of the mental burdens the younger generation faces.
While many employers are wary of unstructured or unlimited vacation policies, this extreme-sounding benefit has worked wonderfully for companies like HubSpot, Dropbox, Github, and GE. Deb Henley, founder of Henley Leadership Group, found that by implementing an unlimited PTO policy, her employees were able to create flexible work and vacation schedules. She says that unlimited vacation policies work as long as you have transparency, clear communication, trust, and regular performance evaluation.
Glassdoor’s career and workplace expert, Rusty Rueff, urges employers to consider alternatives to traditional forms of compensation and how to keep employees happy. He says, “Employers should be communicating clearly about non-traditional compensation. Recruiters should take note that touting the benefits and perks offered can help win talent of different demographics, industries, and occupations.”
The modern workplace that promotes autonomy, flexibility, and trust will attract and nurture the newest cohort of talent and create a culture of employee-centric benefits.