What Do Millennials Want? Well-Being at Work

millennial employees


First, it was employee satisfaction, then employee engagement, then employee wellness.

But have you considered your employees' well-being? Not just how they feel at or about work or how healthy their habits are; but how they're doing as a whole person?

According to a recent Workforce.com article, well-being is the key the optimal workforce tool. In fact, according to the article, a focus on well-being at work is one of the reasons we're seeing a rise in trust, pride, and camaraderie in the best workplaces, something that's ushering in what the author calls a "Great Workplace Era."

What is Well-Being?

So what is well-being, what drives it?

Well-being refers to the sum total of things that make people feel grounded. Unlike wellness, it takes into account an individual's disposition in all areas, from family to community to work to financial, as well as physical and mental health.

While well-being has a profound effect on performance at work, it's largely driven by personal life. More than half of a person's well-being is related to relationships, family, hobbies, satisfaction with community, job satisfaction, on the other hand, impacts only about 13%.

Given that, it might seem difficult for an organization to grasp the purpose of related supports - or how to facilitate them. Some company leaders might well ask, "If well-being is about personal life, why should I get involved?"

It's What Millennials Want

But you should. Because the evidence is clear. Our own Horizons Workforce Consulting 2012 National Well-Being Study showed that employees with higher levels of well-being are both consistently able to put in extra effort at work and have higher job satisfaction than employees with low levels of well-being. As a result, supporting an employee's personal life with things like tuition assistance, gym memberships, child care support services, and on-site health clinics to name a few is exactly what many of the top workplaces are starting to do.

But there's another reason for this surge in interest in well-being it's what Millennials want.

Millennials are outpacing Boomers in number, and are as of now today's key demographic. They have specific designs about their work futures and they're demanding workplaces that offer things like better work-life balance, career advancement, and social responsibility. Our own studies of these young employees showed very specific (and sometimes surprising) views about their approach to education, salaries, and debt.

A Multi-Generational Problem, a Multi-Generational Solution

But while Millennials may be the catalyst for well-being in many organizations, the truth is, every generation benefits from such supports. And measuring and responding to the well-being of a whole workforce not just a specific segment is likely to get all of us farther in the long run.

Organizations that do will see the benefits. In our recent Horizons Workforce Consulting survey of more than 4,000 employees, we found that organizations offering a high level of work-life supports have employees who are more productive, committed, and invested in their work.

That makes well-being worth investigating, no matter what demographic you're talking to.
Horizons Workforce Consulting has partnered with several organizations to help them assess their employees' well-being. We can help you do the same. Visit us to learn more.
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
millennial employees

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