While salary and work assignments are often the top factors for millennials when picking a job, extra opportunities or perks from employers also are a major attraction, according to new research from Looksharp.
To find out more about the perks millennials value most, we reached out to Charles Rogel, HR consultant and vice president of products and marketing at DecisionWise, to see what he had to say.
Millennials want to increase their experience and skills to become more valuable through challenging projects and assignments that help them grow professionally and boost their resumes, Rogel says. And as they expand their skill sets, they want the opportunity to advance in the company. According to Looksharp’s research, 71.5 percent of millennial college students and recent graduates cited long-term career advancement as “very important” in their search for internships last year, up from 67.4 percent in 2014.
Looksharp’s research found that 51.6 percent of college students and new graduates said easy access to higher-ups was “very important” in their search for an internship. Rogel agrees that giving new employees the opportunity to connect with co-workers and bosses will create a supportive environment, which is important to millennials. Create and develop programs that help form those connections between new hires and higher-ups. To attract millennial hires, think of easy ways to provide access to higher-ups to help increase engagement and company learning.
For new employees, especially millennials, travel is exciting, Rogel says, and he suggests sending them on business trips to make them feel important and valued. If your company doesn’t have many business-trip opportunities, send millennials outside of the office on other assignments. Rogel says they could work the company’s trade show booth, assist with a client presentation or help with an installation. Employees in such roles gain confidence in themselves because they are being trusted as a good representation of the company. Rogel calls this a benefit for the company, as well, saying “the more opportunities millennials have to see how the company delivers value to clients, the more committed they will be to the company and its services.”
Providing workplace flexibility doesn’t mean chaos, Rogel says, noting that millennials want autonomy to enhance their work-life balance, not to lessen their workload. Rogel says examples of flexibility include leaving work early to attend a personal event, but then going home to finish assignments, and letting employees choose their own teams or decorate their workspace. These steps will increase the employee’s level of accountability and improve their view of how they are valued within the workplace, Rogel says.
“Millennials are looking to connect with their company and feel part of a supportive organization,” Rogel says. He suggests activities, events or parties to foster these workplace relationships, such as barbecues, a 5K race or community service projects. Give teams a budget and let them plan their own activities. This will allow them to account for the team’s unique interests, whether that be going to a movie premiere, go-cart racing or taking a glass-blowing class, Rogel says.
If you can’t provide these outside-of-work activities, don’t forget you can plan a little party for holidays or “special days,” like Pi Day. “Frequent opportunities to get together and have fun create experiences that strengthen work relationships and create commitment and loyalty to the company,” Rogel says.
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