What are the best employee benefits for millennials?

As an employer, when considering what benefits to offer your employees in addition to their salary, it’s important to make sure that they are reflective of your workforce, their lifestyle and what they truly value.

Millennials, the term used to describe those born between 1980 and 1994, are now the biggest adult cohort worldwide, making up 23% of the global population and representing the largest group in the workforce.

The world has changed significantly since Baby Boomers entered the workforce and millennials are now the first group that are reaching their 30s earning less than the previous generation. Their lives are also different to the generations that came before. For example, two thirds of mothers worked full time in 2013, a proportion that increased to 75.6% in 2021

In addition to this, the concerns and needs of millennials are different to those of their parents and grandparents. For instance, The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey found that millennials want change and support from their employers, and that the cost of living, climate change and health care are amongst their top worries.

With all of this in mind, if you want to attract and retain highly skilled, motivated employees and create a working environment that is inclusive, supportive, and diverse, you’ll want to make sure you are considering the millennials in your workforce when you create your benefits package. Here we share the top employee benefits for millennials.

1. Flexibility

As a whole, the millennial workforce is composed of digital natives who have grown up using technology and being connected to the internet. With their tech-savvy nature comes the belief that they don't have to be in one set location to be able to successfully carry out their work. They want the freedom to decide when, where and how they perform their tasks and don’t necessarily correlate productivity with the hours spent working but more so how effectively the work has been completed and the standard to which it has been done.

So, for many millennials, flexible working is something they expect in their current position or actively look for when seeking a new role. In fact, more than three-quarters would prefer a hybrid or remote working pattern. For those that can work remotely, they cite saving money, more free time and a positive impact on their mental health as reasons why they value this benefit.

2. Wellness programs

With 38% of millennials stating they are stressed out all or most of the time and nearly half experiencing symptoms of burnout, it’s clear that offering wellness programs that focus not only on physical health but mental health as well are worthwhile.

Focusing on well-being and ensuring your employees are happy, healthy, and comfortable not only helps the individuals but can also significantly benefit your business. In 2020-2021, the estimated total annual costs of absenteeism, presenteeism (attending work while ill, and therefore, underperforming or being less productive) and labour turnover reached £53-56 billion.

Wellness benefits can encompass a large range of offerings including:

  • Counselling and therapy services
  • Private health care
  • Dental care
  • Transit incentives such as Bike2Work
  • Gym memberships
  • Stop smoking support
  • Employee assistance programs for alcohol use and substance abuse
  • Wellness retreats
  • Subsidised healthy lunches and snacks
  • Subscriptions to wellness apps

3. Financial advice

The pandemic, a cost-of-living crisis and stagnant wages have all contributed to millennials feeling concerned about their personal finances. 39% worry about their day-to-day finances and 43% regularly feel anxious about their long-term financial future.

Offering employees access to financial advisors for such things as budgeting, investments, tax allowance and pensions can not only help employees to feel more in control of their money and give them a sense of security for their future, but it can also reduce finance-related stress and promote financial well-being across the entire workforce.

4. Family support

The notion of a family has moved away from the stereotypical nuclear set-up with same-sex, extended, single-parent, and childless families all now being rightly recognised as important and valuable.

For some millennials, support for the family that they have can help alleviate stress and give them more free time, whilst also allowing them to focus on their work and progress their career. Childcare, pet walking, and companionship for older parents are all benefits worth considering in this area.

For other millennials, support to have a family is something they would value, with 68% saying they consider an employer's fertility coverage when job hunting. 15% of the population experience infertility and need assistance to have a child. In addition, 7% of the population identifies as LGBTQI+ and, therefore, requires fertility assistance or adoption support to start a family.

But it’s not just infertility that can hamper someone’s ability to start a family. One in five women are childless by midlife but 80% of these are due to circumstances including lack of affordable housing, the cost of childcare and financial security. Benefits that seek to overcome these hurdles such as in-house nurseries, wraparound childcare and cost-of-living support could therefore make a significant difference to those employees wanting to start a family.

5. Ethical and environmental incentives

9 out of 10 millennials say they are already making an effort to reduce their environmental impact and so for increasingly socially and environmentally conscious employees, perks that align with their views and will have a positive impact will likely be well received.

When asked what their employers could do to help combat climate change, for instance, millennials ranked sustainability-oriented employee benefits such as electric car subsidies, employee training and incentivised programs such as step tracking with colleagues among their top priorities.

6. Work-life balance

Many millennials struggle to juggle a successful career alongside their hobbies, family, friends, and time to rest. Therefore, many look for employers that recognise the importance of their life outside of work and allow them to thrive both in and out of the office.

Offering work-life balance benefits can help employees to regain some of their personal time back, reduce stress and allow them to spend more time out of work on things that bring them joy and benefit their well-being.

Examples of work-life balance benefits include:

  • Meal prep and cooking
  • Shopping assistance
  • Automotive services
  • Household chores
  • Transportation
  • Childcare
  • Injury recovery support

Talking of getting the right work-life balance, did you know that 1 in 7 workers in the UK juggles work with care responsibilities? Or that millions of workers do an extra 12 hours of unpaid care a week for a loved one? By providing benefits that help with unpaid labour you can support employees of all ages and backgrounds to meet the demands of their life, be it a single parent who needs help picking their kids up from school or someone who needs assistance caring for an ill or elderly parent.

Here at companiions, we offer a simple, reliable way for employees to arrange in-person, on-demand support and assistance for themselves and their families. Find out more about how we can help you to offer employee benefits that have a positive impact on your employees and your business.