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6 Things Millennials Value More Than a Big Paycheck

6 Things Millennials Value More Than a Big Paycheck
Credit: Lenetstan/Shutterstock

Although millennials value a variety of nontraditional benefits from employers, few things pique their interest more than money, new research finds.

Compared to other generations, millennial employees are the most likely to stay loyal to their employer because of how much money they're making, according to a study from Staples Advantage.

Nearly 30 percent of millennials said a higher salary is the biggest contributor to their employer loyalty, compared to just 20 percent of the broader workforce.

"Millennials are becoming the largest demographic in the U.S. workforce — about one-third of all workers — so it's critical for employers to understand how to attract and retain millennial talent," John Burke, senior vice president and chief culture officer for Staples Inc., said in a statement.

However, money isn't the only factor millennials consider when deciding whether to stay with their employer. To help businesses entice millennial workers, Staples uncovered six nontraditional benefits this generation values:

  • Flexibility: Nearly half of the millennials surveyed said more flexibility regarding where and when they work would improve their happiness, and 59 percent said it would boost their productivity.
  • Office perks: On-site gyms, well-stocked break rooms and free lunches are all valuable to millennial employees. More than 20 percent of those surveyed define a good work culture as a place that offers these types of incentives, while 46 percent think more office benefits would improve their workplace happiness.
  • Eco-friendliness: Millennials want to work for employers that care about the environment. When deciding where to work, half of the millennials surveyed said an eco-friendly company is important to them, compared to just 35 percent of workers from other generations.
  • Break time: Millennials are the most likely generation to feel guilty for taking a break during the day. More than 60 percent of those surveyed said having an allotted break time each day would make them happier. Additionally, millennials said having a well-stocked break room would improve their happiness, decrease their stress, increase their productivity and create a more social environment.
  • Positive relationships with bosses: The millennials surveyed who aren't looking to change employers said trust in the company's leadership and their direct boss contributes to their loyalty, and 20 percent said it's their direct boss who motivates them to do their best work.
  • Appreciation: Millennials want to know the work they are doing is valued. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed said employer appreciation contributes to their loyalty, and 26 percent said recognition motivates them to do their best work.

The study was based on surveys of 2,602 employees age 18 or older across a variety of companies ranging in size, geography and industry.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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