Every generation is unique; each one has its very own way of experiencing life and gives value to different things, hence as a society we are always evolving and changing in every aspect. Evidently those changes extend to the workplace, organizations are in constant change, and there is always a new theory, new technology, new modus operandi, new goals, and new challenges. The definition of a good company changes among generations. If someone were to ask a baby boomer to define a great company they would probably say one that offers a good salary and stability, however for millennials that alone is not enough anymore. A good company for a millennial has to be able to offer much more than that, companies know it, and now more than ever they have a strong Human Resources department focused on making the work environment as enjoyable as possible, to attract and retain employees.
Companies, especially tech companies, have such a different environment nowadays that they cause a shocking surprise to previous generations. There is a movie called “The Intern” where Robert De Niro, a retired man from the traditionalist generation, applies for a Seniors Internship Program offered by a very high tech and employee oriented company, where the boss rides a bike in the office, there is an open door policy, employees work with the latest technology, they offer a snacks for everybody, and there is a masseuse for stressed employees. At the beginning he is in complete shock with the company environment and struggles to get accustom to it. A person from the traditionalist generation, or a baby boomer who watches the movie might think that the benefits offered by that company are an insane exaggeration, but they are not that far from the truth. Most of the companies today consider their employees their biggest assets and have some juicy benefits for them.
But what are these benefits? Companies have all kinds of perks, according to the FastCompany article “These Are The Best Employee Benefits And Perks” by Lydia Dishman, companies now offer maternity/paternity leaves beyond what is required by law, paid time-off just to relax, pursue a passion or do volunteer work, paid vacations and travel expenses, new gadget for new employees, reimbursement of money invested in education, life-coaching, even free-shipping of breast milk for nursing mothers who are traveling on the job. Moreover according to the Forbes article “21 Employee Perks That Attract The Best Talent” by Brock Blake, this new kind of companies also offer profit sharing, on-site gym or gym membership, free on-site SPA services, off-site events, meals and unlimited snacks, and onsite childcare. Companies offer these amazing perks along with an open door policy and integrating activities in order to make the employees feel like one big family, that way workers appreciate and like the place they are working for and it maximizes their organizational identity, commitment to the company, and productivity. Google for example has a name for their employees, Googlers, and they refer to each other as members of a big sorority even if they are former employee, the family concept is so important to Google that they offer the spouse of a deceased employee half of their salary for ten years.
Today’s organizations see their employees as their biggest asset and therefore take great measures to take care of them; as a result it is more likely that for a millennial company benefits go beyond a good salary. In this generation we expect good perks from our employers, the workplace must offer the conditions to grow career-wise but also a climate that makes us love the company we are working for. Now we see our jobs from a holistic point of view, and we hope and aim for all the fringe benefits that we can get, because now a job is great only to the extent of its perks.