Ping pong tables, pantries full of snacks and Yoga classes. These are just a few of the hot new perks that companies are offering to attract and retain Gen Y employees (ages 18-34), also known as millennials. Tech companies are leading the way with either lavish or unique perks.
But how much do such incentives really matter?
As the benefits and insurance industries strive to increase the number of millennials within their ranks, it’s good to keep perks in mind. Let’s recognize what they are – extras.
While perks are fun, companies need to provide the foundational pieces of a great career first. Because millennials want what we all want – a job that has a clear career path, with a competitive salary and benefits.
So how do companies retain them?
Most millennials want employers to offer flexible work schedules, merit-based salary increases every six months, and insurance benefits, according to The Hartford’s 2014 Millennial Leadership Survey.
The companies that offer lavish perks are usually those employers that also provide the basics that all employees want. Disability insurance, for example, is an oldie but goodie benefit.
Talk with your employer clients about the need to provide their youngest employees with benefits, such as disability and accident insurance, to protect millennials’ current and future leadership potential.
Offering benefits is not enough
It also involves an education process of helping young people understand why they need to protect their career from being derailed by a disabling injury or illness. Tell a millennial that you’re giving them free coffee or a concierge service, and they will immediately understand those perks.
Tell a millennial that you’re providing disability insurance, and less than half will understand how the benefit can help protect their paycheck and keep them on track to their personal and professional goals. That means planning to communicate the value of this benefit.
A small swimming pool is available for employees at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio José Sánchez)