A 2016 Gallup poll found that 60 percent of millennials are open to a new job opportunity and only half believed they would be at their company in another year. It may seem like a challenge to engage and retain talented millennials, but like many challenges, it is also an opportunity.
Recent studies also show that most millennials value perks and benefits over pay increases, and a 2015 Glassdoor survey found that 57 percent of job seekers rank benefits and office perks as a top consideration . Similarly, additional Glassdoor research says that 89 percent of 18-34-year-olds would prefer added benefits or office perks over a salary increase.
Below we’ve listed the top office perks valued by millennials that help keep your workforce motivated, engaged, and performing their best.
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The Most Desirable Benefits & Best Office Perks for Millennials
Quality Health Insurance
An Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) study found that 60 percent of millennials view health insurance as the most important employee benefit. Premiums and out-of-pocket expenses under low-cost insurance plans add up quickly. Considering many millennials are buying homes, starting families, and so on, they value employers who provide affordable, quality health care.
Employee health coverage has advantages for businesses too. Employees are less likely to take sick days and time off when they are receiving high quality medical care, especially if this includes preventative services. This makes quality health insurance one of the best, mutually-beneficial office perks. A strong healthcare program makes employees healthier and more productive, and also makes them feel appreciated and well-cared-for.
Gym Memberships or Wellness Programs
The demand for healthier options in the office is apparent in the increasing presence of treadmill desks, standing desks, and a preference for healthy food and snack options. Offering gym memberships or access to other wellness programs, is a great office perk that can set your company apart, retain talent, engage employees, and boost health and productivity.
A wellness or fitness program is particularly appealing to millennials, who are known to prioritize health and active lifestyles. According to a 2017 Merrill Edge report, 55 percent of millennials would rather spend money on fitness than save for their financial future. A wellness program is an effective way to appeal to millennials, either through in-office wellness events, complimentary fitness trackers, or gym memberships.
Free Coffee, Snacks, and Lunch
Considering the average employee spends more than $20 a week on coffee, quality in-office coffee helps employees’ paychecks go further and gives them reason to stay in the office and stay productive. Free office coffee is becoming much more common, and many employers also offer free snacks, specialty coffee choices, and other options to increase productivity, show appreciation to employees, and boost retention. Some of the most popular treats and amenities among millennials include specialty coffee, cold brew coffee, sparkling water machines, fresh fruit, and healthy snacks.
When working with an office breakroom solutions company, you will be provided with state-of-the-art equipment, boasting sleek and attractive machines with modern digital displays and other innovative technology. This high-tech equipment enables employers to provide employees a breakroom or kitchen that mimics a coffee shop or market. Bringing in modern equipment with impressive and innovative capabilities goes even further in helping employees feel appreciated, empowered, and productive. This is a great way to build a positive, attractive, and modern work space without investing a lot of money in a new office space or large-scale renovations.
Learn about 7 easy ways to start using office refreshments to boost recruiting and retention.
Vacation and Paid Time Off (PTO)
The 2015 EBRI study found that 12 percent of millennials value PTO over all other benefits (compared to only 6 percent of Baby Boomers). Millennials’ enthusiasm for PTO is reflective of their priority on work-life balance and desire for more control over their time.
Employers are devising creative ways to give employees more paid time off, like granting additional time off during the holidays. Holidays are a slow time of the year for many industries, making this a meaningful employee benefit with minimal business impact. Another PTO-related perk is paid leave for a birthday. Paid time off for a birthday is a personal gesture that makes team members feel valued and appreciated. Unlimited PTO has also become popular following implementation by big-name Silicon Valley companies. Unlimited PTO gives workers complete flexibility in taking time off and shows a high degree of trust in how employees manage their workloads. This trust in turn encourages higher levels of diligence and higher job satisfaction.
With many millennials placing increased value on travel, healthier lifestyles, and an overall increased level of self care, extra cash by way of performance rewards can be an extremely attractive benefit. End-of-the-year bonuses or awards that coincide with an employee’s annual review are traditional approaches to performance bonuses. However, some companies are bonusing with rewards other than cash, like tickets to events, certificates for travel, or paid expeditions. The latter approach is usually cheaper and is a more personalized way of incentivizing hard work and showing appreciation. This also makes it a good option for companies who may not be able to afford large bonuses for employees.
A 2016 Flexjobs report found that 82 percent of millennials said they would be more loyal to an employer that offered flexible work options. Employers are accommodating this preference by allowing employees to clock in remotely or work flexible shifts. A Deloitte Millennial Survey in 2017 showed that 84 percent of millennials say their companies offer flexibility by way of hours, roles, or work locations.
Flexible schedules are an office perk that allows employees to take time off during the day for appointments, family events, and other personal reasons, which instills trust and empowers them to take care of themselves and their families.
Employee Development Programs & Tuition Reimbursement
Millennials seek faster career advancement than previous generations and prefer not to take on more student loan debt than they already have. This makes millennials eager to work for companies that offer employee development programs or tuition reimbursement. Employees appreciate when employers help them reach their educational and career goals, and employers benefit from the skills and ideas learned in the classroom. Because of the immense benefit on both sides, educational support is found on many lists of the best office perks.
Simple Office Perks That You Can Start Implementing Right Away
Below are some simple office perks that can be implemented more immediately and can be adjusted to fit within your company’s available resources:
- Provide coffee (speciality coffee tends to appeal most to millennials)
- Provide healthy snacks
- Offer rewards for strong performance, birthdays, or work anniversaries
- Offer event tickets as a bonus or performance reward
- Team outings or team events during work hours
- Extra time off over the holidays or for birthdays
These perks will help get you on your way to attracting and retaining some of the best talent that the millennial generation has to offer. At Aramark, we enjoy consulting with companies to create modern and engaging break spaces that help them grow and evolve.
If you’d like to learn more about offering breakroom food and beverage perks to employees, contact an Aramark expert near you to learn more about customizable breakroom plans.
Sources: Gallup News, Glassdoor, Glassdoor, Employee Benefit Research Institute, Merril Edge, Flex Jobs, Deloitte