Money & Business

Millennial-Friendly Benefits Worth Considering

By / Mar 16, 2017 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Not sure how to crack the code to attracting and retaining that millennial workforce you’re looking for? These three benefits might just be the way to go.

Oftentimes, your job—or your first few jobs—may not come with the perfect salary. But if it comes with a great benefits package, that may make up for the lack of pay. Benefits could also help associations looking to attract millennials and other entry-level employees. Here are three that may not only appeal to them but also keep them invested in the organization’s work.

Student Debt Repayment

Here are some quick stats: There are 44.2 million Americans with federal or private student loan debt, amounting to $1.4 trillion. More than two-out-of-five millennials—42 percent, to be exact—are walking around with student debt, according to a survey by the Institute of Politics at Harvard University. And the College Investor reports that college graduates in the class of 2016 left campus with an average of $37,172 in student debt.

Those numbers help explain responses to an American Student Assistance survey [PDF] about the impact of student debt. For example, 76 percent of respondents said that if an employer offered assistance with student loan repayment, “it would be the deciding factor or have considerable impact on their choice to take a job.”

Could your association add student-debt repayment to your cache of benefits? The American Bankers Association contributes $100 a month toward an employee’s student debt, and it offers up to $10,000 toward undergraduate tuition and $20,000 toward graduate tuition. ABA is also encouraging its industry to start doing the same.

Flexible Hours

With more and more millennials entering the workforce and influencing the workplace, flexible hours and remote work seems to be here to stay. The recently released Deloitte Millennial Survey showed that millennials think flexible working arrangements support greater productivity and employee engagement while enhancing their personal well-being, health, and happiness. And, in Gallup’s recent State of the American Workplace report, 43 percent of respondents reported that they spent at least some time working remotely. Survey respondents also reported the highest levels of engagement at work when they were working three to four days remotely.

The U.S. Travel Association made Washingtonian’s list of the best places to work in 2015, thanks in part to its flexible work options. And 85 percent of employees at the American Heart Association, which offers flexible schedules and telecommuting options, told GreatPlacetoWork.com that they think their workplace is great.

Need another reason to allow flexible hours and remote work? Doing so may help close the gender gap.

Free Lunch

Nothing brings people together like good food—even in the workplace. And companies like DreamWorks, Facebook, Google, TripAdvisor, and LinkedIn prove it. These are all workplaces where both employee morale is high and the onsite food options are great and often fully subsidized, according to a Glassdoor report.

Although most associations may not have the budgets to provide their staff scrumptious meals every day, perhaps they could try ordering in lunch or breakfast once a week—or even once a month—in order to boost morale. But the key is to make sure that you’re bringing in something yummy:   Millennials are the foodie generation, so if you’re going to the effort to cater in food, you should try and make it good.

Associations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia could consider HUNGRY Catering. In fact, its cofounders started the catering business because they were tired of serving up bland food to their 40-person tech staff each week. So, they did what entrepreneurs do and started a company that serves top local chefs’ signature dishes to businesses looking to cater in meals.

Have you rethought your benefits lately, especially with a younger workforce in mind? If not, it might be time.

Emily Bratcher

Emily Bratcher is an Associate Editor for Associations Now. More »

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