Hiring and retaining quality employees should be a core concern for any company. As the workforce shifts and unemployment drops, it’s especially important to consider both the wages and perks your business offers. Traditional business practices may not do the job anymore. With millennials now comprising a majority of young workers, it’s worth taking a look at the culture that millennial startups create and how it can help you sustain a vibrant workplace.

Sufficient Compensation

Naturally, employees want to be paid a fair wage. Competitive compensation has always been, and will continue to be, the primary way to attract prime candidates and keep them on staff. It’s hard to imagine a workplace where raises tied to job performance aren’t relevant. But, increasingly, employers are finding that compensation alone may not be enough. Workers want more. Surprisingly, some of the things they want may not cost you a dime.

Personalized Benefits

The days of traditional benefits—health insurance, vacation days, a 401K—may not be over, but what benefits look like is changing dramatically. More and more, employees seek out companies that offer the specific benefits they enjoy.

Rather than providing a rigid health insurance plan, some employers are offering employees discretionary cash they can spend on the kind of insurance extras they want. They might, for example, be able to choose whether or not to buy into vision insurance or dental coverage, with any dollars left over going into their health spending account.

Smart employers are taking the time to poll workers to determine their specialized needs and wants. Some benefits depend on location. Urban workers may have different wants than rural employees. Whether it’s offering yoga or Zumba classes, providing breakfasts or lunches, giving time off for volunteer work, stocking break rooms with healthy snacks, instituting a transportation subsidy, or creating a student loan reimbursement program, employees want you to notice the things they care about and respond accordingly.

Attention to Culture

While important, benefits are only part of the equation. The overall culture of the company also matters. Millennial employees want you to set an appropriate tone at the top and follow through on it consistently. They want transparency and active communications channels.

In addition, millennial employees want to feel a strong sense of collaboration. Anything you can do to enhance that will engender the kind of culture millennials appreciate. Collaborative workshops, fun events, work-related book clubs, break room activities – these can all add a sense of community to your workplace. Opportunities for continuing education are also desired by most millennial employees.

The key point here is that companies need to be aware of the specific and personal needs and wants of their employees. Paying particular attention to your company’s compensation packages, benefits, and culture can help you do that.

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