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Millennials: Why Should you Offer Options?

December 03, 2014


Millennials like to feel that they are in control of their career. They also like diversity. There are many opportunities for organizations to enhance the decision-making abilities for their employees and soon-to-be employees. One of the most desired options an organization can offer employees would be with regard to vacation time. Most millennials expect to only be offered 1-2 weeks of vacation when entering the workforce after college. As mentioned previously, salary is not a millennial’s top criterion when searching for jobs. Organizations need to leverage this fact. One option would be to give the employee the choice of more money or more vacation time. An example would be to allow the applicant to negotiate making 5 percent less for an additional week of vacation. One company goes so far as to allow employees to make 80 percent of their original salary for five years in order to take a complete year off their sixth year of employment (Burchell and Robin 2011). Considering the average length a millennial currently stays with an organization is 2.3 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013), this option could serve as a way for organizations to retain millennial employees longer. Although not all millennial employees will take advantage of these types of options, they are good examples of how organizations are thinking of creative ways to customize options for the millennial generation.

Benefits are another option in which organizations can work with employees in order to design something that fits the individual. Netflix is currently an ardent advocate of this option. Netflix allows employees to choose whether they prefer the majority of their compensation in pay or in benefits. This choice is especially attractive to the millennial generation. Netflix states that their practice of allowing employees the choice of how they wish to use their compensation is consistent with their values of freedom and responsibility—which they put into the hands of the employee (Hastings 2009).  Another way companies can set themselves apart from other companies is by encouraging employees to take time off after completing a large or demanding project. Millennials are willing to go the extra mile if they know the organization they work for appreciates the extra effort. Responding to millennial employees creatively and offering them options that are not common is likely to result in a recharged and engaged employee who is willing to reciprocate the additional investment.

Do you want to read the entire whitepaper on Millennials in the Workforce: Creating a Mutually Beneficial Relationship? Download it now:

Why the Millennials Are ImportantKPA Tami Boyer is a Sr. HR Client Advocate for KPA’s HR Management product line. Tami is a veteran of the United States Army and has previously worked as an HR Manager for Department of Defense contractors. Tami is PHR certified and has a Master’s Degree in Human Capital Management from the University of Denver.

Posted in: Human Resources Management, Millenials in the Workforce Tags: benefits, Employment, Millennials, Options, time, Vacation