By Thomas Broderick
In 2019, millennials became the largest living generation in the United States. Their ages range from 19 to 37, and overall, they possess many liberal economic and social views. On the job, they want to apply their talents toward producing meaningful work.
Economically, most millennials lag behind the previous two generations (e.g., generation X and baby boomers) due to the “Great Recession” that began in late 2007. This two-year recession and the long recovery stunted many millennials’ career opportunities and salary potential. The recession’s lingering effects have a continued impact on millennials’ earning power.
When considering these challenges under a benefits microscope, two words come to mind: stability and opportunity.
In this article, we’ll explore both traditional and voluntary benefits that appeal to millennials. We’ll also consider how millennials’ benefits needs might change in the coming years.
What Young Families Want
Although millennials differ from other generations, they still value traditional benefits packages. Millennial employees are marrying and starting families, meaning that they put a priority on careers that offer good medical and life insurance policies. Both provide young families – many of which are still adjusting to new financial realities – the knowledge that sickness or death will not cripple them financially.
Yes, millennials greatly appreciate traditional benefits, but their generation also values their families’ well-being over all else, including their employers or careers. This desire to provide their spouses and children with the best quality of life makes it easier for millennials to switch companies if they can attain a better benefits package.
For this reason, companies are offering voluntary benefits to attract and retain employees. Let’s look at some of the voluntary benefits that align with millennial employees’ short- and long-term needs.
The Best Voluntary Benefits for Millennials
Millennials, whether they have families or not, generally want a voluntary benefits package that boasts flexibility, encourages peace of mind, includes their family, and promotes personal fulfillment outside the office.
- Gym Memberships: Gym memberships represent an excellent supplement to a traditional health insurance policy. Exercise not only improves health, but many people report that it also affects mental well-being. Also, as gym memberships can extend to family members, healthy spouses and children translate into happier employees who can focus on their work better.
- Financial Literacy: Financial literacy resources can include courses at your job site, apps, and other online tools. If your company adopts financial literacy courses as a voluntary benefit, choose a service that emphasizes 529 plans (i.e., college-savings plans), retirement savings, and student loan repayment strategies. These services best match millennials’ most pressing needs.
- Additional Paid Time Off: In recent years, companies have used unlimited PTO as a way to attract highly-trained professionals. With more time off, employees can spend more time with their families and feel higher loyalty toward their employers. Even if your company does not offer employees additional vacation days, ensure that employees feel safe in taking time off.
- myKlovr Virtual College Counseling: MyKlovr has developed a first-of-its-kind virtual counseling service to assist high school students and their families navigate college admissions. Students receive personalized advice that helps them improve their chances of college admissions success.
Looking to the Future
Although millennials’ children will not enter high school for a few years, the myKlovr employee benefit can be extended to siblings or even nieces and nephews who are in need of specialized tools to help them gain admission to a good college or university. We at myKlovr also believe that this benefit can be extended to workers who may have taken time-off from studying after high school, and are currently employed but enroll in college.
Our program works by asking students a series of questions concerning their academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and college preferences. MyKlovr turns this information into success goals that students can achieve throughout high school. If students meet these goals, they can obtain letters of admission from the colleges and universities that myKlovr recommends. We call these recommendations a College Match. In fact, if none of a student’s College Match schools admit the student, we gladly refund the entire subscription fee (terms and conditions apply). That’s how confident we are in myKlovr’s ability to help high school students attend college.
Whether through fitness incentives, financial literacy courses, PTO, or myKlovr, your company can attract and retain millennial employees by offering voluntary benefits that match their evolving needs.