As baby boomers continue transitioning into retirement, and businesses become more dependent on millennial and Gen Z employees, organisations need to take a good hard look at their benefits packages to make sure they are tailored for the next generations.
By now, most insurers have transitioned to perks like casual dress codes where jeans, or even shorts, are acceptable as long as you are not customer facing. To appeal to more and more young professionals, organisations must think beyond the obvious perks — to more unusual and creative benefits.
What Benefits Could Help Organisations Stand Out to Potential Employees?
Student Loan Aid
With college graduates joining the workforce and often bearing the weight of more than $40,000 in student loans, this is top of mind. Although most companies offer tuition reimbursements — which could come handy if new hires want to pursue a master’s degree — paying off their undergraduate degree fees is a much more immediate concern.
“Fur Baby” Benefits
More millennials are getting married and having kids later, so most of them consider pets important members of the family.
Companies get bonus points for providing on-site health services such as a nurse practitioner for routine healthcare checkups including flu shots or blood pressure readings; this would save employees a trip across town for an appointment. If something so grand is out of scope, encouraging wellness at work via subsidised gym memberships, or in-house yoga and healthy snacks could also become huge hits with the younger crowd.
Several large companies have their own libraries where employees can have access to business books and other non-fiction reading to stay “in the know” about trending industry topics. Including some “fun” reading can’t hurt either – it reminds employees about the importance of work-life balance.
Remote work options have quickly gone from a being a benefit to an implied requirement to most candidates. Millennials consistently rank flexibility as one of their key employer attributes. The better the industry gets at allowing flexibility in terms of both time and location, the easier it will become in retaining employees. Many companies already allow one or two work-from-home days a week, and some even focus on recruiting and managing completely remote workers.
Focus on Family
With most millennials being dual-career couples, time to bond with their family and kids has become even more precious than it has for previous generations. As a result, some companies in the US are starting to extend their maternity leave — and paternity leave — timeframe despite it not being legally required there.
Specialty Time Off
Some businesses pay for a certain number of volunteer hours each year, allowing employees to give back to the community and give time to their favourite charity without using up precious vacation days.
Larger companies often have a corporate suite at their local sports arenas, but tickets to these are rarely made available beyond the highest levels of the company. A fun benefit would be to reserve a few of those seats and give them out by lottery, regardless of position.
AUTHOR BIO: Richard L. Jacobson is co-Chief Executive Officer of The Jacobson Group. He maintains shared leadership and management of the firm’s day-to-day operations and strategic direction and plays a significant role in its continued growth and success.