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Washington D.C. millennials say show me the money

Arlington, Va., AUGUST 22, 2016 – A new survey by Eagle Hill Consulting finds that millennial employees aged 18 to 34 in the Washington, D.C. metro area rank financial security as the number one factor for maintaining a positive work/life balance, counter to conventional wisdom about the preferences of this generation. The survey also finds that when given the choice between more money or more free time, D.C. millennials were far more likely to choose money (86 percent) over less working hours per week (14 percent).

These findings are detailed in a new research report, Ping Pong Tables and Flex Schedules: The Surprising Preferences of D.C. Millennials, conducted by Eagle Hill Consulting and available here. A webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, October 4th at 11 AM ET to review the findings and respond to questions. Register at no charge here.

“These findings mark an important shift in the priorities and preferences of this younger generation,” said Melissa Jezior, Eagle Hill’s president and chief executive officer. “It’s no longer all about job perks like free snacks, massages and napping rooms as this generation begins to age.”

Millennials comprise approximately one-third of the U.S. workforce, and a slightly larger percentage of the D.C. area workforce, 33 percent and 35 percent, respectively. As older workers continue to retire and exit the workforce and more millennials enter, that proportion will continue to grow to an estimated 75 percent of the workforce nationally by 2025.

“Now, forward-thinking employers in the nation’s capital seeking to attract and retain millennials are prudent to re-examine their salary and benefits structure. Clearly, pocketbook issues now are the driving factor in millennials employment decisions. While our research demonstrates a shift for millennials, it really shouldn’t be surprising. Millennials often have steep financial challenges given national trends toward unprecedented student debt, stagnant wages and cuts to retirement and healthcare benefits.” Jezior explained.

The survey finds that:

  • D.C. area millennials place a higher priority on financial security than other work/life benefits. When asked to rank financial security against other “traditional” aspects of work/life balance, millennials chose financial security (33 percent) as their top priority – above other factors like hours worked (19 percent), schedule flexibility (19 percent) and ability to work from home (6 percent). Also, when given the choice between more money or more free time, millennials were more likely to choose money over more free time. More than eight in 10 millennials said they would rather work more hours and make more money.
  • The importance of work/life balance is decreasing across the workforce. When asked to identify aspects of their job that are important to overall job success, the number of Washington, D.C area respondents who ranked work/life balance as “very important” decreased from 2014 to 2016 – from 70 percent to 51 percent for millennials, and from 63 percent to 55 percent of non-millennials. This seems to indicate that organizations have responded to employee concerns about work/life balance – it’s not that employees care less about this issue.
  • Non-millennials in the nation’s capital are less satisfied with work/life balance. The survey finds that number of non-millennials who are dissatisfied with their work/life balance is more than double that of millennials. Some 14 percent of non-millennials disagree that they have have a good work/life balance, as compared to six percent of millennials.

The Eagle Hill survey was conducted by SSI in May 2016 and included 1,990 full-time professionals in multiple industries across the U.S. and 250 in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The employee satisfaction survey polled respondents on work/life balance, career success, and overall satisfaction with their current job and employer.

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides management consulting services in the areas of business strategy, organizational transformation, human capital transformation, process improvement, program management and change management. Eagle Hill works with a range of public, private, and non-profit organizations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and across the nation. Forbes named the company one of America’s Best Management Consulting Firms of 2016. And, the company was named a 2016 Best Place to Work in Greater Washington by The Washington Business Journal, and earned top workplace awards from The Washington Post and Washingtonian along with multiple top rankings in the Vault 50 Consulting Ranking. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.