Survey Findings

Finding Five: Millennials Want Life Support Services

You might assume it would be older workers who would be the most interested in services like financial planning, tax prep, and relocation assistance. After all, they generally have more income and assets—and larger families—than do young adults. But your assumption would be mistaken. Turns out, it’s the Millennials who want the most support services across the board.

On our survey, 61 percent of Millennials agreed that they like employers to offer these kinds of services. Only 48 percent of older Gen Xers and only 44 percent of older Boomers said the same. In spite of their simpler life commitments, young workers are 10 to 15 percent more likely than their elders to want support on financial and personal logistics.

What’s going on here? Once again, we see the effects of the Millennials’ upbringing in their workplace priorities. Boomers came of age defying the institutions their parents built. Xers came of age knowing that they were on their own, and couldn’t trust institutions (from schools to employers to the government) to look out for their best interests. When they struggle with various areas in their lives, these older generations rarely look to their employers for help and support.

But today’s youth have been reversing that trend. Millennials have grown up expecting to be sheltered, not just by individual adults, but also by the institutions in their lives. Accustomed to trusting the advice of experts-in-charge, Millennials today outscore older generations in institutional trust across the board.5 Unlike Boomers or Xers, they don’t want to feel like they’re “on their own.” In the last decade, we’ve seen the return of “in loco parentis” colleges and universities—now Millennials are looking for the new “in loco parentis” employer. This includes offering a comprehensive envelope of support, protection, and guidance to help them navigate life basics, from relocating to a new city to filling out tax forms to finding the best health-care provider.

5. On respect for the government, see “Millennials: Confident, Connected, Open to Change.” Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, February 2010. Web. On respect for corporate America, see JWT Op. Cit.