Millennials May Be More Loyal Than Previously Thought

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By Genevieve Douglas

Oct. 26 — Millennial workers aren’t the disloyal job hoppers they’re stereotyped as, and the right benefits package can make them even more loyal to their employers, a new survey finds.

MetLife’s “ Millennial Report” reveals that the majority of younger employees are committed to their jobs for the next year: three-fourths (75 percent) of older millennials (age 25-34) and over two-thirds (64 percent) of younger millennials (age 21-24) say they intend to still be working for the same organization in 12 months’ time.

“We found that millennial employees did have a willingness to commit” to their employers, and were even more dependent on their employer for financial advice than other generations, Meredith Ryan-Reid, senior vice president of group benefits at MetLife, told Bloomberg BNA Oct. 25.

Targeting Benefits to Millennials?

The report found that millennials value traditional benefit offerings but seek customization. In turn, companies are trying to adapt their benefits, according to the report. In the past year, companies with a large millennial contingent in their workforces have made more changes to salaries and benefits packages than companies with a smaller millennial presence, MetLife said.

Family status seems to be the biggest driver of the type of benefits millennial employees value, Ryan-Reid said.

Younger workers also highly value the advice and guidance they receive at work, she added. “They may not know as much about financial security and savings, but they’re more dependent on their employer to facilitate those savings for them,” Ryan-Reid said.

“You can win more loyalty from your millennial employees if you give them that support,” she said.

Millennial workers also increasingly demand “socially just” benefits from their employers, Anne Donovan, a people innovation leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Los Angeles, told Bloomberg BNA Oct. 26. These kinds of benefits include parental leave instead of just maternity leave, and same-sex spousal and partner benefits, Donovan, who wasn’t a part of the MetLife research, said. “A company that doesn’t offer these kinds of broad benefits today will not be attractive to millennial workers,” she added.

Well-Designed Benefits for Everyone

When HR departments are designing benefit programs, they shouldn’t consider what each generation of employees will want, but instead how they can offer a “full suite” of benefits that support employees at all stages of their lives at the organization, Donovan said.

Benefits communications should come from both HR and managers, Donovan added. “You have to have good relationships with your employees or good benefits won’t matter,” she said. It’s in the discussions between supervisors and employees that companies discover what workers need, Donovan said, “so you need to make sure that these conversations are happening.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Genevieve Douglas in Washington at gdouglas@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tony Harris at tharris@bna.com

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