What Company Perks Do Millennials Really Want?

In the battle to recruit and retain top talent, some companies are willing to go the extra mile. Forget fitness trackers, car washes, or ping pong. A company in North Carolina is giving its employees Teslas. In an effort to attract exceptional employees, the scientific instrument company is leasing high-end electronic cars. Now, not every company can afford to do that. But it does raise the question of what company perks appeal most to employees? And are company perks different for younger generations?

Last year, the Pew Research Center reported that Millennials surpassed Generation X to become the largest segment of the American workforce. Typically defined as those born between 1980 and 1997, Millennials have different priorities and sensibilities than Baby Boomer and Gen X workers. So, when it comes to investing in company culture that will help attract and retain this cohort, employers would do well to answer the question, what company perks really matter to Millennials?

Different Strokes for Different Employees

Coming out of World War II, Baby Boomers set out to pursue their version of the American Dream. Theirs became a live to work mentality. After seeing their parents place so much emphasis on jobs or careers—and perhaps feeling the effects—Generation X sought a healthier work-life balance.

Now, it seems that Millennials are pushing more toward the life end of the work-life balance. Deloitte reports that this generation often puts their personal values ahead of organizational goals. They also feel little loyalty to employers and many are planning near-term exits. In fact, two in three expect to leave their job by 2020. At home in the gig economy (moving from one assignment or project to another), they value flexibility and freedom. (Get tips for designing health benefits for Millennials.)

Best Ways to Attract and Retain Millennials

In analyzing the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials, Fortune concludes that these companies are able to engage this generation, recognize their talents, and give them a significant role where they can make a difference. What’s more, pay, profit sharing, and promotion decisions are executed fairly.

In recruiting Millennials, a LinkedIn survey found that the top three factors to highlight are the compensation package, professional development, and opportunities for advancement.

Millennial Company Perks

The 2016 Employee Perks Report

To help understand what perks employees most value in the workplace, Group Health (now Kaiser Permanente) conducted a survey of nearly 1,500 employees across a variety of Washington state industries. Participants were asked to choose their top three perks from among 15 listed. Options included everything from pets in the office to subsidized education, leadership training to alternative medicine.

Key findings include:

  • Millennials have a penchant for freedom. More than half of this generation would like to work from home or have flexible hours.
  • Many Millennial men prefer concierge service; Millennial women love yoga.
  • A vast majority of Millennials want health care screenings and risk assessments.


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