The age of gold retirement watches and 30-year work anniversaries is fading; today’s workforce is more mobile, seeking perks over longevity.
Millennials enter careers with expectations that diverge from their predecessors’. Incentives like work-life balance, flexible schedules, timely promotions, and giving back to the community are more attractive than a corner office, according to a recent report in Forbes magazine. Luckily, the Hudson Valley has employers who recognize the importance of attracting (and keeping) good talent.
Newly graduated workers are often saddled with college debt, yet they want to continue their education. Rhinebeck Bank, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union (HVFCU), and Stew Leonard’s are among many Hudson Valley employers who’ve recognized that tuition reimbursement, on-the-job training, and free professional development are a great lure. IBM has hundreds of educational opportunities at no cost to employees. At Marist College, undergraduate and continuing education courses are free for Marist employees, their spouses/legal partners, and dependents, and on-campus graduate tuition benefits are covered up to a certain amount.
Why not own the company (or at least part of it)? The Blue Book Network takes ownership to a new level with its ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Through a vesting schedule based on years of service, employees earn shares into the company.
Mohonk Mountain House allows employees to use the resort’s trails, activities, and facilities during their time off. Employees also enjoy social events like sports and trivia tournaments, and regional tour bus trips. Other companies around the Valley see the value in camaraderie beyond work hours, too: Rhinebeck Bank offers barbecues, kickball games, and employee-planned events; Stew Leonard’s workers have a free hiking club and annual summer Playland picnics; Marist College and HVFCU also host employee social events.
Local tech powerhouse IBM encourages workers to let off steam during the workday in an employee lounge with foosball and table tennis. In the warm weather, employees can compete on the Poughkeepsie campus basketball court, miniature golf course, or volleyball court, and enjoy other outdoor games with coworkers either during work or on their days off.
Altruism ranks as high as a good salary among many new job-hunters, and local companies are glad to oblige. Finkelstein & Partners and HVFCU have similar paid volunteer programs: Employees spend four hours a month during their work schedule volunteering at local nonprofits, and are paid as if they were working. Finkelstein & Partners also will donate $150 to their employees’ chosen charity for every 15 hours of their volunteer time. Kohl’s volunteer program is similar, with a $500 donation to the eligible nonprofit.