What benefits do millennials want?
What is a millennial? By now, the answer may seem like common knowledge - but the topic of millennials, especially when related to employee benefits, is still one that raises many questions. And as the largest group in today's workforce, cracking the code on millennials continues to be a key component of HR and benefits strategies.
The definition of 'millennial' will differ depending on where you look, but the general rule of thumb is that millennials are individuals born between the years of 1981 and 1996. That's a 15 year gap, meaning that while some millennials are in their early twenties, the older end are just a year shy of 40th birthday celebrations.
While millennials share many unifying attributes (i.e. tech-savvy, goal-oriented, collaborative, diverse etc.) what makes this generation label so complex is that the needs of the older and younger millennials can vary greatly. For example, a single recent college graduate will have different needs than a 35-year-old supporting a family. And when you look at it like that, the wants and needs of millennials are anything but black and white.
As millennials (and any demographic) age out of one phase of life and enter another, employers must continuously reassess their employee benefits strategy to meet the health, financial and technological needs of this increasingly modern workforce.
Here are a few benefits that top the millennial wish list (and cater to both ends of the millennial age spectrum).
Career Growth Opportunities
Millennials are known for being ambitious in their careers, and are looking for employers who provide them with continuous opportunities for advancement and professional growth. In fact, studies show that the "opportunity to learn and grow" was identified as one of the most important factors to millennials when considering a new position.
Millennials also have a reputation for 'job hopping,' and (if not doing so already) addressing their desire for advancement could be a way to retain your brightest millennial employees.
Tailored Healthcare Options
When it comes to millennials and health plan selection, there are numerous demographics to consider. For instance, a single 24-year-old will likely seek out a high-deductible health plan since they are unlikely to anticipate major immediate health needs and want to keep monthly expenses down as a priority. While they may not anticipate it, mental health conditions are of greater concern for these younger individuals with more instances of depression among the 18 to 25 age group.
On the other end of the age spectrum, a 35-year-old single parent might lean towards a lower deductible plan that will offer better coverage options for their children who may be engaging in risky hobbies, such as sports, and therefore be more susceptible to broken bones and other costly injuries.
Financial Wellness Programs
We know that financial concerns rank high for the millennial generation. In fact, a whopping 64% of millennials are stressed about their finances, and only 24% demonstrate basic financial literacy. These financial pressures could manifest into stress – which, ultimately, impacts attitude and even work performance. That said, employers who want to recruit and retain the best employees should provide financial education and coaching - especially since millennials expect employers to advocate for their financial health.
A Modern Benefits Experience
Most millennials don't remember life before the internet, and this tech-savvy groups expects digital convenience wherever they go. To implement a successful and engaging benefit program, strategies must not only consider financial and health priorities, but also an employee’s preferred means of communication.
As a digitally-savvy generation, millennials are much more responsive to technologically-advanced enrollment and benefit management programs. Accustomed to online sign-ups, this generation now demands an intuitive, personalized experience that aligns with their retail consumer expectations.
Every generation presents its own challenges and millennials are no exception. Learn more about this complex generation and how to target your benefits strategy to the lifestyle needs of millennials by downloading our white paper!