Use benefits to tame millennials’ job-hopping ways

4 minute read

image

U.S. workers’
habits and demands are constantly evolving. Today’s employees aren’t like those
of yesteryear — they don’t take jobs and remain in place until it’s time to
collect a pension and a gold watch. Companies have changed too, making the
promise of a pension and a fancy timepiece rare.

It’s worth noting
that job-changing is fast and furious in the early years of millennials’
careers: Young adults born in the early ‘80s held an average of 6.2 jobs
between the ages of 18 and 26, and 57 percent of those jobs lasted less than a
year.1

According to a
PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of millennials,2 here are some things
employers of millennials should keep in mind:

  • Many believe they’ve had to compromise to find jobs. In fact, one-third
        says they took a job with a lower salary. Other compromises such as working away from a preferred location (17 percent) and accepting fewer additional benefits (17 percent) closely followed.
  • Millennials are committed to their career growth and development. They say the No. 1 factor in making an organization attractive is opportunity for career progression (52 percent), followed closely by competitive wages (44 percent) and training/development programs (35 percent).
  • More than half care about corporate responsibility. The majority of millennials (59 percent) say they seek employers whose corporate
        responsibility behavior reflects their own values.
  • Millennials are looking for good work-life balance. Nearly half are looking for a job with some flexible working hours, followed by 32 percent saying they are looking for jobs with mainly flexible working hours.

Benefits and today’s millennial workers

Companies that
are wise to the new job-hopping norm take millennials’ employment patterns into
consideration when developing and communicating about their benefits plans. The
number of companies offering pensions is declining, but even employers that do
so have learned that millennials are unlikely to stick around long enough to
become vested. According to the 2015 Aflac WorkForces Report,3 more
than half (63 percent) are at least somewhat likely to search for new jobs in
the next 12 months.

What’s driving
some of the movement? According to the 2015 Aflac WorkForces Report, perhaps
it’s a search for better benefits options. According to millennials, a
comprehensive benefits package is important because it:

  • Safeguards health and financial well-being (58 percent).
  • Helps provides peace of mind (56 percent).
  • Demonstrates that employers care about them (30 percent).

Benefits may convince millennials to stay

Millennial
workers are unafraid to be labeled job-hoppers. The difficulty of finding work
in the U.S. economy, combined with the need to take a “just for now” job while
waiting to land the perfect position, has decreased the stigma that used to
accompany frequent changes of employer.

No company wants
to invest time and money into training an employee only to lose that worker to
another employer, and especially not to a competitor. Given the importance
millennials place on workplace benefits — 64 percent of them saying an overall
benefits package is extremely or very important to employer loyalty, and 23
percent saying it is extremely important — benefits options may be key to
convincing them to remain in place.

Only 31 percent
of millennials in the survey report being offered voluntary insurance at work.
This is quite a bit lower than all the other generations. Those companies — as
well as others who want to increase their “stickiness” among millennials —
would be wise to consider adding voluntary insurance options to their benefits
plans as the research demonstrates its importance.

The good news for
companies trying to limit costs is that voluntary insurance is employee-paid.
In other words, employers can make voluntary benefits options available to
workers with no direct effect on their organizations’ bottom lines.

Why voluntary?
Because voluntary products help ensure that workers who are sick or hurt have
the funds needed to help pay health-related costs their primary insurance might
not cover. According to the report, that’s crucial considering 72 percent would
not be able to adjust4 to the large financial costs associated with
a serious injury or illness. Here are some other reasons to offer voluntary
options:

  • Voluntary insurance can help provide employees with financial safety nets that may keep their minds on their jobs and not on money concerns. That’s especially important given that 28 percent of millennials who participated in the 2015 Aflac WorkForces Report said personal financial issues are a top non-work-related issue that distracts them while they’re on their job.
  • Voluntary insurance pays cash benefits regardless of any other insurance coverage employees have in place, including policies available through government health care exchanges.

The bottom line?
Today’s millennials might not be looking for reasons to go; they could be
looking for reasons to stay. By offering a variety of voluntary insurance
options — from accident and disability coverage to life insurance,
hospitalization, dental, vision and more — employers can encourage the latest
generation of workers to stick around for a while.

About the study

The 2015 Aflac
WorkForces Report is the fifth annual Aflac employee benefits study. The study,
conducted in February 2015 by Research Now, captured responses from 1,977
benefits decision-makers and 5,337 employees from across the United States. To
learn more about the Aflac WorkForces Report, visit AflacWorkForcesReport.com.

1Bureau of
Labor Statistics, “America’s young adults at 27,” accessed June 2, 2015 – http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/nlsyth.pdf

2PwC,
“Millennials at work: Reshaping the workplace,” accessed June 2, 2015 -http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/managing-tomorrows-people/future-of-work/millennials-survey.jhtml

32015 Aflac
WorkForces Report, conducted by Research Now for Aflac, accessed June 2, 2015 –
http://workforces.aflac.com/

4Includes
somewhat, strongly and completely agree