Commuter Chronicles

Enough with the Fancy Coffee: The Real Perk for Millennials is Professional Growth

[fa icon="calendar"] 2/03/17


If you work in HR in a technology firm, chances are you’re in an arms race for talent where the weapons of choice are espresso bars, beer taps, hoverboards and free food. These benefits are no longer novel and differentiating for your company; they are expected and even cliché.

Short of offering bucketloads of money and unlimited time off, what can a company do to attract and retain sought-after talent, especially millennials?

Millennial Magazine recently published an article that looked at the issue. It cited a study by PwC in which a majority of millennials agreed that “opportunities for career growth are the most attractive thing about an organization.”

Opportunities for growth. Not free lunches and happy hour. Not game rooms and nap pods. Opportunities for growth.

The author of the article contrasts the needs of employees today to the expectations of the past 150 years. The Industrial Revolution is over—employees are no longer mere cogs in the wheels of industry. Few will be satisfied if the most they can expect is to be promoted to a position where they can oversee people who do what they used to do.

Business and technology change so fast that if an employee is not constantly learning, they’ll soon be left behind with a set of skills that becomes quickly obsolete. Or, worse, the brightest talent may feel their ambition and enthusiasm suffocated by a company that is slow to embrace change.

“Innovation requires new blood; fresh thoughts and ideas; shaking the ground and changing key assumptions. It requires what corporations always hated the most: change... By optimizing for employee retention – companies are actually slowly killing themselves and their employees’ careers.” – Roei Deutsch

Millennials today need and want to be continually challenged. They want to grow professionally and personally. To remain viable in a fast-moving economy—your company needs to do more than try to retain talent by offering more shiny objects to play with. It needs to invest in their ongoing professional growth.

For more insights into Millennials and the workplace, download our free report.

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