No doubt about it: some corporate perks sound oh-so cool:

  • Outdoor clothing company Patagonia encourages its employees to catch a wave in the middle of the workday (and even notifies staff when the surf is up).
  • Employees of Quicken Loans can attend any event at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland at no charge, transportation included.
  • SC Johnson & Son – maker of Windex, Ziploc and Pledge – provides an on-site employee concierge who grocery shops and runs other errands.
  • Other companies fill the company fridge with free beer, provide a personal chef who makes lunch, and let employees bring their pets to work.

As amazing as fringe benefits like these sound, it turns out that millennial employees – now officially the largest segment of the U.S workforce according to a 2015 Pew Research Center analysis – are looking for something more substantial from their employers:

Mentorship and a Clear Career Path

Skip the ping pong tables and nap pods. What millennial workers really want is access to senior workers, strong mentorship, a collaborative team environment and a clear career path. According to the Harvard Business Review, millennials are hungry for feedback and in a hurry to succeed. Contrary to their ‘lazy and entitled’ stereotype, millennials value the role of mentoring in navigating their careers and advancing their skills.

Comprehensive Benefits Packages

In some ways, millennials don’t differ that much from previous generations. According to the 2015 Aflac WorkForces report, 64 percent of millennials cite a comprehensive benefits package as extremely or very important to employer loyalty. Healthcare and financial perks – such as dental, vision and 401(k) plans – are key to keeping this segment of workers in place. And the sooner the benefits kick in, the better. A survey from the CGK found that 27 percent of the “Best Places to Work for Millennials” offer coverage starting the first day of work.


In a survey of 9,700 full-time employees across eight of the largest global economies by consulting and business services firm EY, flexibility was listed as a top job benefit. A millennial-specific survey by professional services network PwC supported that conclusion, with 32 percent of respondents saying they expect their working hours to be mainly flexible and 40 percent expecting their hours to be mainly regular with some flexibility.

Work-Life Integration

Ninety-nine percent of Millennials agree with the statement “More and more, I’m trying to find balance in my life.” It’s not just work-life balance that millennials prioritize; it’s also work-life integration, an environment that supports the blending of the professional with the personal. The Intelligence Group found that 88 percent of young workers are seeking this new work-life integration.

Family-Friendly Policies

With millennials almost twice as likely as baby boomers to have a spouse or partner working full time, family-friendly policies – such as parental leave, onsite or subsidized child care, lactation facilities, and flexible hours for doctors’ visits and school events – are important to this generation.

As the predominant values of the workforce shift, companies that focus on developing a strong corporate culture and mission are more likely to retain top performers. Employees in their twenties and thirties care less about take-home pay than the ability to work at a place that reflects their core values.

In Conclusion

While millennials have much in common with past generations, they are less likely to be wowed by flashy corporate perks and are more interested in their career development and how the culture of a business speaks to them. The good news for business owners? Some of the benefits that score points with millennials won’t necessarily cost you big bucks.

Check out the 5 Things Millennials Want from Employers here.