Millennials have redefined the way businesses operate, innovate, and position themselves, and by 2025, as per a Deloitte study, “75 percent of the workforce will comprise of millennials”. However, according to a study by Gallup, “only 29 percent of the millennials are engaged in the workplace, and 60 percent are open to new opportunities”. So, it is a bit of a catch-22 for enterprises. With majority of service organizations reporting that they will face a talent shortage in the next five to ten years due to a retiring workforce, it’s becoming increasingly clear that companies need to reflect on their approach to engage and retain this generation. The burning question then is, ‘how to engage with and retain the millennial talent?’
In order to find the answer, it is important to understand the priorities of a millennial employee. There are several things that millennials look forward to in their workplace. They seek development, are eager to learn, and are determined to advance in their careers. They desire a healthy work-life balance, along with a sense of purpose and belonging; they want their work to be meaningful. Millennials also look forward to things like flexible work hours, paid parental leave, student loan reimbursement, childcare reimbursement, tuition reimbursement, among other things. In the absence of the above, they often feel lost, unsatisfied, wasted, and as a result, seek out new opportunities at the drop of a hat. This also results in a feeling of indifference and disillusionment with their work. So, it becomes imperative that enterprises seeking to retain and engage millennials, should not only build a culture encompassing the above aspects but, also develop various strategies to engage them actively.
A crucial, and often neglected, strategy to engage the millennial workforce and build their trust is to focus on their health, well-being, and work-life balance. A search on Wikipedia reveals that Workplace wellness may be defined as any workplace health promotion activity or organizational policy designed to support healthy behavior in the workplace and to improve health outcomes. Many millennials consider these elements to be among the top criteria while considering a job. They seek more flexibility, convenience, and control over their benefits. There are several ways in which enterprises can incorporate the same into their employee strategies. Providing an inclusive health coverage plan to implementing workplace wellness programs, tracking and monitoring employee health, and creating a stress-free work environment can help enterprises earn rich dividends when it comes to engaging the millennial workforce.
Realizing the significance of employee health and wellness, several enterprises have started investing in the same. Many employers are walking the extra mile and offering onsite clinic facilities and innovative health and wellness tool for employees to identify, track, and manage their health and also that of their family members. Furthermore, many are providing health coaching in the space of nutrition, running maternity programs, offering telemedicine, providing access to specialists, tools, and trackers, giving company-wide flu shots or providing gym access as well. Annual employee health checkups, onsite/offsite health talks, and health webinars are also becoming quite common.
One of the faster-evolving aspects, which is also quite in-vogue with millennials, is the space of health tracking through wearable devices. Millennials are increasingly comfortable with technology adoption, and at the same time, put tremendous value on anonymity and personalization. Both these aspects are taken care of with wearable devices that help millennials track various elements ranging from step taken, calories consumed and burned, sleep patterns, menstrual cycles, and fertility. Inviting millennials to share their input in the development process can also go a long way in making them feel at home and build a sense of belonging and purpose.
There are several new age healthtech ventures who are combining the power of technology and collaborating with ecosystem players to help enterprises manage the health and wellness of their millennial workforce. Such ventures provides comprehensive wellness platforms starting right from digitizing of health checkup date to risk identification, health tracking, and management. From an enterprise perspective, these platforms provides an intuitive way to figure the overall health trend of the company and design a personalized wellness calendar based on the same. The design interface and gamification aspect of such solutions are designed, keeping in mind the millennial population.
Enterprises realize that building a general culture of health through a healthy workplace environment is the best way to motivate millennials. Thus, by investing in employee health and wellness, enterprises can build a system in place which not only helps in retaining millennials but, also engages them actively. Workplace health and wellness can go a long way in not only providing a healthy work-life balance to employees, and reducing absenteeism but, also increasing motivation, engagement, and productivity.