HR · 5 October 2016

Forget nap-time or free holiday, job recognition is all millennials want

millennial
Millennials are least likely to be enticed by weird and whacky job perks

The majority of British workers do not consider employee benefits when looking for their next job, a new study has shown.

Around a third of the workforce think about the perks employers are willing to offer them while job-hunting, with the proportion even lower amongst younger UK workers.

Just 40 per cent of 18 to 24-year olds – the country’s so-called “millennials” – claimed to be interested in which benefits are offered to staff. In comparison, 70 per cent of 35 to 44-year olds do take perks into consideration, reflecting a large generational gap.

The study, by procurement firm Direct365, asked 2,000 people about their employment priorities, and discovered that job satisfaction, peer recognition and career trajectory were far more important for millennials.

The news come despite a growing trend for innovative employers to offer evermore extreme incentives to staff to keep them sweet. Google, for example, now offer futuristic-looking sleep pods to workers keen to take a half an hour nap in their lunch break.

Similarly, business review platform Yelp entertains staff with a range of in-house incentives – including pool tables, videogames, and even free beer – while video streaming giant Netflix’s unique policy towards annual leave lets employees take as much or as little holiday as they like.

Commenting on the findings, Direct365’s digital head Phil Turner said: “Fun incentives may look great on paper, but the reality is very different and companies should be working to give staff what they genuinely want.

“Perks that make your working day a little easier will always be attractive – not to mention peer recognition, appraisals and real career progression. These are priceless.”

A 2015 report from the Financial Times revealed wide discontent in the British workplace, with just 31 per cent of employees reporting feeling strongly valued.

With millennials forming a growing proportion of the UK workforce, the statistics may encourage business owners to think more carefully about the range of incentives they offer to new staff.

Why are business owners so worried about new staff “short-termism”

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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