This month, I attended Engagement Excellence Live: The Age of Millennials, an event all about how to engage millennials in the workplace. There were some fantastic speakers, and I learned a lot about how millennials differ from other generations in the workplace.
Here are the top six employee perks that millennials are most interested in:
1. Peer-to-peer recognition
Peer-to-peer recognition is super-valuable to a lot of millennials, as they place high importance on what th eir friends think of them. Millennials have grown up displaying their selfies and scribblings on social media for everyone to see, so it’s hard for them not to worry about how they appear to others! It makes sense that they would be particularly receptive to a note from a colleague appreciating their hard work.
A great way to ensure that peer-to-peer recognition is practised in your organisation is to introduce e-cards. E-cards are a fantastic way for team members to thank each other, to congratulate a colleague on a great project, or even just to say happy birthday. We use them a lot here at RG, and they really help our people to take pride in their work and strengthen the bonds within teams, and it's just one of the benefits offered.
2. Opportunity for progression
Surveys have shown that millennials are less likely than other generations to see themselves working at the same company for the rest of their lives. This means it’s likely that they’ll be looking to move on to another company within a few years. You can minimise this risk by offering your millennials opportunity to progress within your company and continual productive feedback. This will give them the variety they crave – as well as making them feel valued and important. If a millennial employee feels as though they have no room to move upwards in your company, it’s unlikely that they’ll stick around.
3. Travel and supermarket discounts
Millennials are a tricky category to choose impactful employee discounts for, since they could be in one of many possible living situations. Lots of millennials live at home with their parents, and so they aren’t really interested in discounts at supermarkets – after all, they get fed for free! These millennials are typically interested in discounts on travel – particularly on their commute to work, which is probably where they’re spending the most money. They also tend to have more money to spend on holidays and getaways, but will still look to save on these as much as possible, so discounts on flights and hotel booking sites will likely go down a treat.
On the other hand, millennials who have moved out of the family home will probably appreciate discounts at supermarkets – especially at the cheaper ones. A lot of millennials will have just left university, and may not have savings built up – so they’ll be looking to build their wealth as much as possible. Much of their income is probably spent on rent, so they’ll be looking to save money in other areas. Their grocery shop is a key area where they would most likely jump at the chance to cut down on their spending.
4. Flexible working
Millennials tend to place higher importance on work-life balance than previous generations do, possibly because the concept of ‘living life to the full’ is so heavily promoted on social media. They’re hyper-conscious of the fact that their personal life is just as worthy of attention and care as their work life. They’ve seen – possibly in their own parents – the damaging effects of overworking and burnout.
If your organisation can offer flexible working, this will attract a lot of millennials – they’ll really appreciate being able to work on days when they can’t make it into the office, rather than using up a day of annual leave. By offering flexible hours, you allow your employees to attend important appointments and stay home to recover from illnesses without taking time off work. They’ll feel more relaxed and be able to organise their busy schedules more effectively, increasing wellbeing and productivity levels.
If there’s one thing millennials love, it’s showing off on social media! Many of them display every aspect of their lives on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – so why wouldn’t they do the same with their job?
That means that it’s up to you to give them something to brag about! Events like Christmas parties, trips abroad and in-office games will definitely capture their attention and get them promoting you on social media. They’re happier and more fulfilled, and your organisation gets a shoutout. It’s a win-win!
6. Mental wellbeing
As a generation, millennials are often exceptionally aware of the need to actively look after their mental health. They’ve grown up in an era in which mental illness is finally being talked about, and they most likely all know someone who has been through a problem of this kind.
Introducing initiatives to boost mental wellbeing can really engage millennials. Some companies have started paying for subscriptions to the Headspace app for each employee. This is a fantastic app that allows anyone to meditate on-the-go, using their phone, by following simple instructions.
Services that offer Cashback or part-payment for counselling, hypnotherapy and other mental health-related treatments are also a great option. These services can be very costly, which may discourage your staff from using them in times of need.
When your employees are happier, they’re more productive and more likely to stick around. It’s as simple as that.