Now that the millennials are a larger population than the baby boomers, they have positioned themselves to re-shape the workforce and economy in a way that most employers are not ready for. The discussion of millennials and their expectations in the workplace is a growing topic and should be a focus for employers if you wish to attract and retain this generation. Though many executives may have negative perceptions on behaviors and values this generation may possess, it is important to realize that employers who take the time to understand and engage with this growing workforce population will have greater success than those who choose to ignore the wants and needs of millennials. As you ask yourself the following questions, it is important to be mindful that not all millennials are the same and though some changes may be needed within your organization, you must keep in mind the variety of generations in today’s workforce.
1) Are you providing choice and variety?
This generation is all about instant gratification. This is especially true when it comes to accessing information. When evaluating benefits, they are looking for choices. As an employer, it is important to offer a variety of benefits, including employer-paid and voluntary options.
2) Are your employees able to customize based on their personal needs?
Along with offering a variety of benefits, are you giving a choice of plan design within these lines of coverage? While you want to avoid giving too many options, consider providing base and buy up options to your benefits package. Millennials want to control how they spend their money and make selections based on their own personal needs.
3) Are you simplifying the journey through communication and technology?
Communication is important, especially to millennials who feel a benefits package is only one piece of several components evaluated when looking to accept a job offer from a company. Information should be clear, concise and readily available. Technology platforms are becoming extremely popular in creating a unique onboarding experience, as well as a more streamline open enrollment process eliminating the use of paper. This is appealing to this generation as they are used to technology constantly at their fingertips and prefer the use of online tools over the abundance of paperwork that come with enrolling in benefits.
4) Do you encourage collaboration in the workplace?
Collaboration is key to the millennial generation. Through the ever-growing social platforms, this is where they interact through networks to obtain information. Companies that position themselves as thought leaders through regular blog posts gain trust from this generation because it provides easy access to a forum where they are able to collect information and exchange ideas with others.
As leaders, continue to listen to what you are hearing in the workplace. Take the time to educate yourself on what is trending, embrace change and speak the language of your perspective customers. Get to the party early!