A Look Into America’s Modern Workplace

If you were to map out a timeline of the American workplace over the past 50 years, you’d see a lot of shifts in the way the workplace is structured. Even going back 5 years you’ll see a significant difference in workplace culture, employee benefits, organizational structure and the implementation of technology.

The Job-Hopping Generation

We can’t point our fingers at Millennials as the only generation known for job hopping. Even Baby Boomers commonly job hopped in their early working years. The difference isn’t Millennials vs Baby Boomers, but rather what happens once young people grow up and gain more experience in the workforce. Once Baby Boomers found a job that suited them, they stayed loyal until retirement, growing to admire and love their job. Generation X patiently climbed up the ladder working for about three companies throughout their lifetime.

Although this is true for the majority of the workforce, there is a large population of workers from all generations who have seen a decrease in job stability and job hop more than they used to due to shifts in technology and our economy. Nowadays, new technologies, domestic outsourcing, and increased competition are playing a role in the changing the dynamic of the modern workplace. By the year 2020, about 40% of the workforce is predicted to be a part of the gig economy, a workforce of independent contractors in an environment where temporary, short-term positions are common. Millennials are more likely to start out in the gig economy due to the attractive flexibility and freedom, whereas older generations are more likely pushed into independent work due to circumstances outside of their control.

Millennials tend to be choosier and jump around more often in search of careers that align with their values and provide opportunities for career growth. And who’s to blame them when job hopping actually proves to be a better path for increasing income? When staying at the same company, the average annual raise employees can expect to see is anywhere from zero to 5%. When taking a position at a new company, an employee can expect to receive a pay raise of between 10% to 20%. Employees who stay at the same company for over two years make on average 50% less over their lifetime.

The current “screenagers”, or people born after the year 1996, are about to enter the workforce by the millions. This is the first generation who never knew life without a smartphone. Generation Z is predicted to hop jobs even more frequently. However, the motivation will not always be a bigger paycheck. Gen Z would be more willing to take a pay cut to work for a company whose mission and values are aligned with their own.

Throughout the generations, there has been a shift from static employees who are loyal long-term to a workforce of dynamic employees who never shut the door on the next best opportunity. It’s no wonder the workplace has shifted from a concrete and structured environment to a more fluid and flexible one. It’s more important than ever to adopt and adapt to new trends of the modern workplace. Instead of falling into an endless pattern of low employee retention and high turnover, it’s wise for employers to start adapting to the changing mindset of the new workforce. There are things you can do to transform your workplace today that will make a huge difference in employee retention and company growth.

Benefits and Perks of the Modern Workplace

You may be wondering what type of specific benefits and perks you can offer your employees to keep up with this changing workforce. Each company is different, and these will vary based off the nature and culture of your company. However, there are some benefits that are generally very well received and even sought out by the new workforce. Remember, benefits are different than perks, but they are both equally important in shaping work culture and business health.

Benefits

Benefits are the bones/structure of your company’s culture. New job seekers are going to review benefits packages before considering the perks. New studies show that 43% of Millennials will quit their job within 2 years of being hired at a company and will continue doing so until they are satisfied. The reason is not necessarily a pay increase, but rather a boost in benefits and finding a company whose culture and values align with their own. Here are some of the benefits that may attract talent to your business:

  • Great Benefits. Offering a comprehensive health package is arguably the most attractive benefit to any job seeker. While searching for the right fit for your company, try to find a provider that offers perks and rewards to your employees when they practice preventative healthcare. We also highly recommend utilizing a telemedicine service such as Teladoc. Telemedicine is a fast and convenient way to get real healthcare while saving you and your employees the time and money it takes to visit a clinic.
  • 401(k). There are plenty of options when offering a 401(k) plan to your employees. A Multiple Employer Plan provides some of the best retirement savings options at the lowest costs. Consider offering an employer contribution or match to encourage your employees to save for retirement.
  • Unlimited PTO. Specifically, consider offering unlimited PTO. Your employees will appreciate that you value their need for work-life balance. Happier employees are more productive and present at work, benefiting both you and them in the end. Unlimited PTO does not mean that an employee takes three months off to backpack in Europe, but rather they can feel free to take a day off to spend time with family or take a long weekend, even if they have exceeded their traditional “three weeks of vacation”.
  • Student Debt Help. It’s no secret that Millennials are the most stressed out generation when it comes to student loan debt. Student debt reached an all-time high of $1.5 trillion in 2018, with nearly 20% of borrowers being so strapped for cash that they are behind on payments. There are many programs, such as Gradifi, where you can help pay current debt or help employees save for future college expenses. Companies offering a program that helps aid in student loan payments or tuition reimbursement will certainly pique the interest of top talent.
  • Other Supplemental Benefits. Consider offering additional benefits such as pet insurance, life insurance, disability and accident insurance. Employees will be thrilled to work for a company that recognizes the need to go above and beyond to take care of their employees.

Perks

When a company offers paid-for lunches, in-office coffee machines, flexible schedules and casual work environments, these are considered perks. Perks are different than benefits as they are an optional resource at the “expense” of the employer. Perks are the icing on the job-seeking cupcake and are certainly going to influence potential applicants. Again, each company’s perks are going to depend on the culture of the company, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Food/Drink. The simple act of providing food for your office can be a huge attention-seeker. Studies show that 48% of Millennial-age job seekers heavily weigh perks, especially availability of free food and caffeine, in their decision. For some businesses this means providing lunch once or twice a week. For others this may mean consistently providing a fully stocked kitchen. Figure out where your business stands budget-wise and go from there.
  • Flexible Schedules. The traditional 9-5 is out the window. Young job seekers are placing their value in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. By allowing you employees to choose their own work hours, they will feel like their time is valued, leading to happier and more productive employees. Read more on our advice to creating a flexible hours policy.
  • Dress Code. This one depends on the nature of your business but in general, employees love feeling comfortable at work. Most workers don’t want to sit in a cubicle or at a desk wearing formal clothes. If it fits the culture, consider loosening up the dress code beyond “casual Friday”. Employees will feel a better sense of connection to their jobs if they are free to express personal style at work.
  • Standing Desks. Although this will be an initial cost to the employer, it is well worth the investment. Potential job-seekers will be thrilled to see a business promoting wellness in their environment. Sit-to-stand desks promote productivity, raise energy, and create better overall health in employees, resulting in less days taken off for sickness.
  • Financial Perks. There are a few ways to offer financial perks, but some of the most common are through regular bonuses. Offering your team a birthday or Christmas bonus shows extra gratitude for their hard work. In addition, consider offering an employee loan program through a company such as FinFit. Finfit allows employees to take out small personal loans, which they can pay off over time at a low interest rate and with no expense to the employer.

At Aliat, We Cultivate the Modern Workplace.

We empower employees to self-manage and produce their very best quality of work. By treating our employees the best we can, we have created a culture of hard working, independent, collaborative and caring individuals that reflects in the service we provide to our clients. Our employees have a deep understanding of our mission, our vision and our company values.

Benefits we offer to our employees that drive performance, satisfaction and work/life balance:

Office Culture

  • Unlimited paid time off
  • 12 paid holidays, including an additional day for your birthday
  • Flexible schedules
  • Telecommuting options
  • Supported paid volunteer time
  • Modern offices with creative and collaborative work areas
  • Sit-to-stand desks
  • Company-wide happy hour outings to celebrate birthdays
  • Freedom to take the lead
  • Culture of learning
  • Continued education and training for advancement and growth within the company
  • Well-being at work
  • Formal HR department
  • Fully stocked kitchen and fridge with healthy food for employees
  • Espresso machine and nitro cold brew on tap

Employee Benefits & Perks

  • Online employee portal available 24/7
  • 100% covered best-in-class medical, dental and vision benefits
  • Telemedicine with a $0 copay to all employees and their family members
  • Employee assistance program
  • Gym memberships
  • Wearable health tracking devices for all employees
  • Incentivized wellness platform with gift card rewards
  • Life insurance
  • Pet insurance
  • Hospital confinement insurance
  • Accident insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Enhanced paternity/maternity programs

Financial Wellness Benefits

  • Personal loans through payroll for emergencies
  • Student loan repayment assistance
  • Tuition assistance
  • College fund save up program
  • 3% employer match into our 401(k) plan
  • Financial wellness tools, calculators and an educational dashboard
  • Health Savings Accounts with an employer monthly contribution
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Commuter Reimbursement Accounts
  • Dependent Care Accounts

So you may be thinking, ‘that all sounds great, but how could I afford it?’ We’re happy to tell you that many aspects of a modern workplace are well within your reach. Aliat’s carefully curated offerings are chosen specifically to help cultivate healthy workplaces and to control costs. These offerings are customizable for your office.

As an employee-centric PEO, Aliat’s support goes beyond just handling payroll, Benefits, and HR. Talk with our business pros today to learn how partnering with Aliat can transform your company into a healthy, modern workplace.