Benefits Your Millennial Team Actually Wants

On what high-performing companies should be striving to create:

“A great place for great people to do great work.” – Marilyn Carlson

Carlson is certainly onto something here – employees do their best work when they are well-rested, valued, and engaged. Here at ThinkTank, that’s what we’re all about. Because millennials now make up the largest share of the American workforce, it’s no surprise that their needs should be a top priority of management. However, gone are the days when pension plans and pay raises could make the cut. In fact, 80% of millennials would prefer an increase in benefits to a raise. Thus, offering good benefits is a top priority when looking to obtain and retain top talent. Here are our favorite ones to consider:

Support of individual hobbies. We have a slew of interests within our Denver office – from making music to making waves – and we wholeheartedly encourage everyone on our team to pursue their dreams both in and outside of work. That’s why we foster community while embracing every team member’s unique qualities. Rather than leaving their personal identities at the door, the ThinkTank team brings their authentic selves to work everyday. Drop the dry corporate culture and recognize the potential in each person’s individuality.

Flexibility. No one knows how to use technology for work better than millennials, so why not let them take the lead on this? Flexibility is a top priority amongst today’s professionals, who lead busy lives filled with friends, travel, and side projects. Be clear with your expectations – what needs to be done and when it is due, but be open to the how. Integrating Skype meetings and Google Docs in the office may not seem like a big deal to managers, but it can be a big plus to the millennial team. In the best cases, embracing the methods of younger employees leads to increased productivity from everyone.

Professional development. A recent PwC survey found that 74% of young professionals are eager to expand their skills in order to enhance their employability. As leaders in your industry, you have knowledge and contacts to help your team members reach their fullest potential. Host one of the increasingly popular “lunch and learn” sessions, in which the team hears a tutorial or speaker over lunch. You can also offer to subsidize online Lynda courses or newspaper subscriptions. Promoting professional development is a great win-win situation: your team pursues lifelong learning, and your organization benefits from their new expertise.

A voice. While this post has offered some creative ideas that apply to many workplaces, your team knows their own needs better than anyone. Use ThinkTank to hear them out and put them in the best position to do great work.