The Millennial Workforce Is Concerned about the Future

Business Executive & Consultant

How do you attract the best millennial talent? Appeal to their concerns for the future.

Mercer LLC Senior Partner Mary Tinebra details the results of an ambitious research project that indicates just how much young workers value the security that comes with benefits and retirement savings. The "trifecta," as Tinebra calls it, is health, wealth, and career. Assuage concerns regarding those subjects and your younger workers will be excited to grow with the company.

Big Think is proud to partner with Mercer on Inside Employees' Minds, a series that examines employees' changing mindsets and the ways workplaces are responding to them.

Mercer’s new Inside Employees’ Minds™ research reveals what more than 4,000 workers in Canada and the US think about their jobs, their employers, and the changing work experience. It explores trends in employee engagement and the evolving employee value proposition, highlighting key differences by generation, job level, and more. The research confirms that, as business needs and the workforce composition continue to evolve — with the boomer generation moving toward retirement and the preferences of the younger generations starting to dominate — employers need to rethink and reshape their value propositions to lay the foundation for future success. In this compelling video series, Mercer business leaders and other noted experts share their thoughts on the transforming work experience and what it means for both employers and employees.

  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Mary Tinebra: Just this year, Mercer embarked on a research project that covered 3,000 U.S. employees and 1,000 employees in Canada. Benefits remain highly valued for all of the individuals that participated in our survey. Over 80 percent, whether you’re in the U.S. or Canada, felt that benefits are really important to them as individuals and at an equal level with pay. People, as they go to make choice with their benefits, are looking for flexibility. Individuals under 34, particularly, are looking for that level of choice.

And when we think about the millennials as we go into the next generation, it’s important to create a rich set of offerings to retain those individuals so they’ll want to grow with your company. There was a general concern through those individuals that participated in the research that they may or may not be able to afford health care five years out. 

Saving for retirement is a really big concern for the employees that we surveyed. There’s a concern around being ready for retirement. Are they saving enough in light of future costs? Particularly we got a lot of feedback around future costs of health care. Will I have enough money not only to retire, but to manage my medical expenses into the future? It’s important for people to understand how their career fits into the organization and what their career growth trajectory looks like into the future. People do not feel that they have as many opportunities in front of them in their career, in their current employer. And along with that, we had a remarkable difference in data that showed over the past four years, where people felt they had a broad career set of opportunities in front of them, there was a decline.

You really need to look at the trifecta of health, wealth, and career and put together a combination that’s meaningful to the generations, but gives the individuals a level of choice and navigation. We feel it’s important for employers to pause and really think about what are the new modern terms of engagement that you need to create in order to design an employee-value proposition that’s distinct and unique and meeting the needs of the versatility of the workforce you have today.