Organizational Wellness

What Millennials Want in the Workplace

Sep 26, 2023
Last Updated Sep 26, 2023

Each generation approaches their career with a different set of hopes, expectations, and definitions of success. One of the many roles of HR is to figure out how to meet each generation’s needs in a multi-generational workforce. You may have up to five generations at once in the office — Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation. But in all likelihood, there’s one group that makes up the bulk of your team: Millennials.

Born between 1981 and 1996, this generation makes up the majority of the workforce. They entered the workforce during and in the wake of the Great Recession, which shaped their perspective on work-life. Whereas Gen X and Baby Boomers were likely to stick with one employer for an extended period of time, Millennials are not afraid to switch jobs to find what they’re looking for: personal and professional growth, meaningful and socially-conscious work, workplace autonomy, and financial stability.

Here are a few tactics you can implement to stand out in the job market and attract this critical talent pool.

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Increased Financial Security

Millennials are facing the many financial demands of midlife, from purchasing their first home to paying for childcare. Inflation is driving up these costs for a generation that was already struggling with student loan payments. Approximately 30% of Millennials do not feel financially secure and aren’t confident that they’ll be able to retire comfortably, according to a Deloitte survey. This makes financial wellbeing a key part of an employee value proposition for Millennial workers.

Competitive Salaries

Offering a competitive and equitable salary is foundational for Millennial employee satisfactionLow salary is one of the top reasons people quit their job, according to the Pew Research Center, and Deloitte estimates nearly half of this generation is living paycheck to paycheck. You can vet the strength of your organization’s salaries with a compensation analysis. This review assesses how your salary ranges compare to your industry, as well as how equitably salaries are internally. 

Robust Benefits Packages

Offering attractive benefits packages that include voluntary benefits — like paid parental leave, sick time, childcare reimbursements, and retirement packages — can contribute to an employee’s desire for financial stability. While they don’t put money directly into their bank account, they can reduce the stress many people face when life and work conflict. Paid sick days let people recuperate without worrying about falling behind on rent, and 401(k) help them save resources for a safe future.

Professional Development 

Millennials are either in the middle or early stages of their career, a time where many workers want to develop their skills to further their career growth. This makes professional development opportunities a powerful talent draw: 29% of Millennials in  Deloitte’s Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial survey selected their new job because the employer offers learning and development opportunities.

Upskilling

These workers want to learn, which is a major asset for employers. Who doesn't want a team that’s constantly improving? Companies can support upskilling through initiatives like workshops during work hours, subscriptions to gated training platforms like Udemy, or tuition reimbursement programs. You can offer company-wide development on broadly applicable skills — like communication and digital literacy — as well as creating training programs tailored to individual development plans.

Individual Development Plans

Speaking of individual development plans, or IDPs, these can be a powerful tool to drive employee growth. IDPs outline the skills employees want to gain and the specific actions they plan to take to develop them. Employees create IDPs in partnership with their manager, which serves to give them an accountability partner and facilitates supportive conversations about their long-term career aspirations. This helps managers align work assignments with their team member’s interest, which can increase employee engagement, satisfaction and retention

Mentorship Programs

Mentorship programs can benefit Millennials whether they are at the start or middle of their careers. Millennials in their 20s and early 30s are likely to be mentees gaining valuable institutional and industry knowledge from more seasoned employees. Older Millennials, in their late 30s and early 40s, can work on their leadership skills as the mentors.

Having a Positive Impact

Millennials value company cultures that follow ethical policies and transparent leadership, according to Gallup. They want to see their employers protecting human rights and restoring the environment, and do work that makes a positive contribution to society. 

DEIB Programs

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) efforts are critically important to this employee cohort. Promoting diversity in hiring practices, establishing employee resource groups, and being transparent about your equitable compensation plans can attract new Millennial employees and increase morale among your current staff.

Mission–Driven Work

Showing employees that their work is having a positive impact on the world can keep them engaged. This starts with clearly identifying your organization’s goals, how those will be measured, and establishing how each role at your company contributes to that mission. This connection should be clearly communicated from the time of hire,  reiterated during formal review processes, and discussed at company meetings. This makes it easy for Millennial employees to see how their work is making a difference, which helps them stay motivated and engaged.

Improved Work-Life Wellness

Millennials aren't willing to sacrifice their wellbeing for the sake of their employer. In 2022, about a quarter of Millennials said they planned to leave their job within the next two years — and about a third were willing to do so even if they didn’t have another job lined up. Like Gen Z, these workers are demanding their job contribute to their wellbeing.

Flexible Schedules

Employers can reduce stress by embracing flexible work schedules, which have been shown to reduce employee burnout. This can include facilitating remote work, allowing employees to set their own hours, or experimenting with unlimited PTO.

Wellbeing Programs

Sixty-two percent of workers identify employee wellbeing as a key deciding factor when applying for a new job. You can institutionalize a dedication to employee wellness with programs like gym subscriptions, nutrition counseling services, or smoking cessation support. These show potential hires you care about them as people, as well as helping your current workforce become happier and healthier.

Mental Health Support

Mental health support can be built into employee’s time on and off the clock. Structural supports your organization can implement include healthcare that covers counseling, provide paid mental health days, sufficient vacation time, or monthly meditation workshops. You can also give employees tools to better handle stress and anxiety any time they wish with subscriptions to yoga studios or meditation apps. 

Reduced Workload

A reduced workload can be a powerful way to prevent burnout and improve workforce mental health. Consider automating certain processes or bringing additional contractors onto your team so that your full-time employees can focus on deep work. You can also integrate with project management software that replaces tedious Excel spreadsheets or Word documents, decreasing friction to increase productivity/

Show Millennials You Hear Them

As you can see, wooing Millennials is about more than pizza parties and ping-pong tables. This cohort has high expectations from their employers and expect them to contribute to their personal work-life wellness in a variety of ways.

At the end of the day, addressing these desires of your workforce comes right back around, because thriving employees build thriving businesses. Nearly 90% of businesses that tracked spending on employee wellbeing saw a clear return on investment, measured by increases in employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and profitability. And neglecting their needs is costly: The American Stress Institute estimates that more than half of the 550 million working days lost annually are caused by stress.

At Gympass, supporting employee wellbeing is what we do. Reach out to a wellbeing specialist to learn more about how we can help you meet your workforce’s needs!

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Gympass Editorial Team

The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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