The majority of millennial employees are seeking work-life balance today and many companies are struggling to retain their millennial employees. According to the Staples Business Advantage Workplace Index, 22% of employees switch jobs as a result of issues relating to work-life balance. Furthermore, according to Right Management’s Global Career Aspiration research, 35% of employees are primarily motivated to change jobs for greater work-life balance and higher compensation. Which makes sense considering that 91% of employees work over 40 hours per week at least some of the time? Companies should consider offering benefits to support employees’ desire for more work-life balance. :
- Flexible Schedules.
Many companies, such as Netflix, are adopting policies that allow employees to come and go as they please. The idea is to focus on employees achieving specific benchmarks or goals and move away from the old notion of chaining employees to a desk for greater outcomes. This type of flexible work environment often sees more productivity and creativity from employees as the 40 hour work week is broken up and gives the employee time to recharge.
Moreover, many companies such as Glassdoor and Virgin Group are offering unlimited vacation days. At which point, it’s up to the employee to use their discretion and take those vacation days. Unlimited vacation days has led to some backlash, however, as many millennials employees are not taking vacation days out of fear they will be vacation shamed or seen as replaceable. Some companies have combatted this fear by instating extremely generous vacation policies, such as Metis Communications, who has a standard three-week policy, which increases to four once an employee has been there for four years, as well as a bonus vacation week during the last week of the year, birthdays off, and Fridays off in the summer after you’ve been there for five years.
- Customizable Perks.
As companies are trying to figure out how to retain employees, the realization of employees’ desire for more work-life integration is becoming clearer. According to Glassdoor’s Employment Confidence Survey, about 89% of millennials prefer benefits or perks to pay raises from their employer. Roughly 75% of 18 to 24-year-olds surveyed by Perkbox believe company perks are crucial to their job satisfaction. As millennials are striving to boost happiness while integrating their personal and professional lives, it’s no wonder many are looking for their employer to increase accessibility to perks or benefits that would improve overall satisfaction.
Companies like Walgreens, Lyft, and Starbucks are utilizing Perkspot to offer their employees a place to save money and find discounts or rebates on goods and services that best fit their lifestyle. Jace Mouse, Perkspot’s CEO, says this type of platform allows the employees to live more fully as they stretch their paychecks. He says, “millennials who use PerkSpot have told us: they value the diverse savings they find with us, because their interests are diverse.” Employees can find savings in categories such as entertainment, auto, wellness, and travel to enhance their lifestyle.
- Education and Training.
“Impatient” and “unwilling to pay their dues” are phrases often associated with millennials. Adam Smiley Poswolsky, author of “The Quarter-Life Breakthrough: A guide For Millennials To Find Meaningful Work”, says that’s not true. Poswolsky points out that “millennials will work hard when you get serious about investing in their skills development”. Millennials consistently cite a desire for their employer to provide more opportunities for training or educational development. Whether that’s through mentorship from senior employees, tuition reimbursement, or on-site training.
Millennial employees want to feel their employer is investing in them by developing their skills. Often times, they are looking for a company that will foster their growth within the company. When an employee and company can come together to foster personal growth and development, the employee is more likely to thrive in terms of their overall well-being and the company is more likely to have a productive, engaged, and loyal employee.
If companies can stop shifting the blame onto millennials for “job hopping” and begin to mobilize a culture that supports work-life balance, all parties are more likely to see the benefits of productivity, retention, and quality of life.
By Rachel Ritlop (Forbes)