Millennials, or generation Y have made quite a reputation for themselves.  This week, our three part series focuses on this newest generation entering the workforce and some of the myths about them.

With millennials making up almost half of the United States workforce, it is worth investing time into finding out what makes this generation tick. It is imperative that businesses not only learn to bridge a generational age gap, but also a culture gap since millennials represent a state of mind, as well as an age bracket. In order to accommodate this group in the workforce, it is important to understand that their needs are different from generations past, and why this is so.

Importance of Social Impact – Two of the biggest benefits that have increased in popularity with employers of millennials are volunteer time off and charitable gift matching. This is because study after study shows that millennials value the importance of giving back to their community and wanting to make a difference and promote social change. While this generation still expects some of the typical benefits, such as retirement packages and insurance, they value companies that focus on family friendliness and social impact.

Incentives to Benefit Family – Millennials are now at the age where they are no longer college grads moving into the workforce, but getting married and having children. With this change in lifestyle, so changes their priorities. A survey conducted by Capital Group shows that one in three millennials are interested in having some type of college savings plan offered to them to relieve some of the anxiety about paying for future college costs. Tuition reimbursement would be an even bigger incentive to help lure this younger class of workers.

Despite the reputation they have for being “job-hoppers”, millennials actual value stability in their career. This stereotype has negative impacts on this generation because companies fail to offer training or other learning resources for fear that after they invest in upskilling these workers, they will leave the company. However, with their desire to improve their skill set, employers must offer professional development if they want to acquire and keep this talent.

Millennials now make up the largest population in the workforce and employers need to know how to adjust their policies to accommodate what is important to them. Offering benefits that are aligned with their values will not only attract the top talent in this generation, it will give them incentive to stay.