Young executives are more inclined to see tangible benefits of workplace programs than their older counterparts.
A survey of 200 executives by Espresa, in conjunction with IDG Media, revealed that younger executives find workplace programs have saved valuable time and are improving business outcomes. Millennial executives (ages 25-34) are also more likely than their older counterparts (age 55 and older) to report that a top business goal of a workplace program is to inspire innovation (43% vs. 17%).
“We see good feedback from Millennials with these programs,” said Alex Shubat, CEO of Espresa. “They like the programs and want to see more of them and we see higher engagement from the Millennial crowd, because they are very used to accessing programs through their mobile.”
Espresa’s data also revealed that executives age 55 and older are the least likely to indicate they would like to see company events such as holiday gatherings and volunteer days offered in the future (6% vs. 21% overall). Additionally, younger executives are the most likely to feel workplace programs are improving business outcomes compared to: 44% for ages 35-44; 31% 45-54; and 25% 55 and older).
Perhaps related, there is a growing trend of organizations distinguishing themselves in the marketplace with great employee benefit offerings, Shubat said.
“If you look at Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work List, you see almost all of them offer amazing employee programs,” he said. “And today the companies are trying to build a great place to work and be represented on those lists because they are trying to attract the best talent. As long as you value your employees, you want to build a great place to work and you are catering to the Millennial population, you have to offer these programs — it’s not a luxury anymore.”
Another theme that came across in the Espresa data was a significant difference across gender lines. Women were more likely than men to have participated in reimbursement programs such as gym memberships, education expenses and travel costs in the past year (52% vs. 34%).
“It depends on what the companies offer, but we definitely see that women are more likely to take advantage of some of these programs, especially when it comes to work-life balance integration,” Shubat said. “They may be more open to build relationships and join some of these clubs.”
Overall, Espresa’s research supports the trend that many employers are transforming their HR offerings beyond compensation. This aligns with the preference of Millennials, who are poised to be the largest working generation.
“Of course, salary is important, because nobody is going to just work for free,” Shubat said. “But assuming the salary is competitive, instead of offering a few more percentage points in salary, offering these types of programs that improve the workplace experience is something employees value and they use that to support their decision-making process.”
About the Author
Brett Christie is a staff writer at WorldatWork.