Career goals of today’s workers are much different than the traditional career goals of our grandparents. No one has expected to work for the same company from young adulthood to retirement and get a gold watch on the last day of work for some time now, and harsh economic realities have damaged the employer/employee relationship. Instead of stability, job seekers and employees look for better pay and better opportunity, and they can do it 24/7 thanks to technology like smartphones.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Millennial workers stay at their jobs less than four years on average. This means employers have a tenuous hold on employee loyalty and have to work very hard to make employees happy if they want to control turnover and the costs associated with it.
Why Millennials Leave
As the largest generation in the workforce today according to the BLS, millennials have an undeniable impact in the workplace and on the employers who need and hire them. They communicate differently than the Boomer generation workers, preferring digital methods such as text, email, and instant messages, and they want regular communication including input and feedback.
Millennials leave jobs for a variety of reasons that differ greatly from other generations. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ survey of millennials, “Millennials at Work”, revealed what motivates millennial employees to change jobs, and emphasized that employers need to understand their millennials to keep them.
Millennial workers want to keep learning and growing, and will leave for opportunities to do so if they don’t find them in their current jobs. The Kaufman Foundation polled millennials and found they have a strong entrepreneurial bent and want to start their own businesses, most within five years. They want work/life balance and diversity in the workplace, and look for employers who provide both. Opportunities for advancement and competitive salaries are important to millennials and are strong motivators for looking for better work roles and employers.
How Millennials Think About Benefits
With such strong forces pulling at the millennial employees they need to take care of customers and operate their businesses, employers need to work hard to retain the younger generation of workers in the job market. Benefits have always been one of the strongest tools in employers’ retention toolkits, and understanding what benefits millennials value and want is important in retaining them.
Shamita Jayakumar, leading social recruiting software firm Jobvite’s marketing manager, says their data shows that millennials think differently about benefits than the Boomer generation. The millennials have different views of and feelings about work and what they want out of work, including benefits.
Millennials think of benefits as more than just health and dental insurance. Because work/life balance is very important to this newer generation, they want benefits that support work/life balance. They want creativity in benefits too, as in most other aspects of work, and choice is important to them. Being able to choose the benefits that best fit their lifestyles, budgets, and needs rather than having only one option motivates millennials. Voluntary benefits like those offered by AFLAC fill the need for creativity and choice in benefits that millennials look for.
Voluntary benefits are employee-paid, so they are a cost-effective way for employers to attract millennials. They pay cash benefits regardless of the existence of, or coverage provided by, other insurance. Personal financial issues are a top non-work-related distraction on the job of 33 percent of millennials as reported in the 2014 AFLAC WorkForce Report. Policies that provide cash for accidents and disability, life, hospitalization, cancer, and more mean an additional safety net for today’s workers who have different needs and lifestyles than previous generations.
Give millennial employees more reasons to stay with more choices in benefits, including voluntary benefits. As part of a comprehensive retention strategy, voluntary benefits may mean the difference between keeping and losing the millennial employees in your workforce today.
To explore the voluntary benefits offered by PAYDAY through AFLAC, contact us now: