HR · 29 January 2016

Five free perks for small teams that will engage millennial employees

millennial employees
Millennial employees want variety and learning opportunities from employment

With millennial workers becoming ever more prevalent in the modern day workplace, young, dynamic, companies have plenty of advantages when it comes to offering fulfilling jobs.

Research carried out by recruitment company Hayes in 2013 showed that workers born between 1980 and 2000 value interesting work and opportunities to learn above financial reward. But while big companies can compete with exotic travel and expensive qualifications, there are plenty of perks which are better suited to small teams and can be implemented for free.

(1) Payroll-deducted loans

With some 40 per cent of UK workers admitting to being stressed by money worries in the last year, financial problems are certain to impact on your employees’ productivity at some point, with younger workers who have yet to build up substantial reserves some of the most likely to suffer.

More popular until recently in developing countries, employee finance has been expanding in Britain since ex-Google boss Dan Cobley launched SalaryFinance last year. Competition heated up recently with another new entrant to the market in the form of Neyber. Both companies offer loans to employees at competitive interest rates, with monthly repayments taken directly off of payroll at no cost to the employer.

(2) Lunchtime volunteering

Some 53 per cent of millennials want to volunteer more than they do, according to research carried out by City Philantropy in 2015 – and wherever your firm is based, there will certainly be a good cause nearby which would be delighted to have the help of your employees for an hour a week.

Do-it.org provides thousands of UK-wide opportunities, with those particularly suited to employee volunteers clearly marked. For something really close to the office, it’s also worth contacting schools to offer reading volunteers or charity shops that might be looking for lunchtime cover.

(3) Charity endurance challenges

With 65 per cent of employees confident that exercising more will increase their productivity at work, anything that helps employees achieve their fitness goals is likely to be welcomed. Signing the whole team up for endurance challenges like Tough Mudder gives workers with exercise intentions a reason to turn them into reality, but also offers great teambuilding on the day. What’s more, charities including Cancer Research allow anyone to register for a free place if they pledge to raise £350 for the cause.

(4) Skills swaps

If you’ve gone out of your way to assemble a team with a diverse range of professional competencies, it’s likely that they’ll have a variety of skills outside the office too, so make the most of it. Whether your burgeoning workforce is home to an opera buff, a fluent Russian speaker or a cocktail making whizz, workplace show-and-tell will give employees a chance to show off and everyone else a chance to learn something new.

(5) Whole-team remote working days

Spending 40 hours a week sitting in the same place is hard for those with even the best developed attention spans. And the need for variety is even more pronounced amongst millennial employees, with research from PwC published in 2013 revealing that 64 per cent of younger workers would like to be able to occasionally work from somewhere which isn’t the office. So get a change of scenery without jeopardising teamwork by picking a remote working location and moving there en-masse for a day.

For more ideas on motivating staff, take a look at this article on staff retention.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics – as well as running a tutoring company.

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