Want to make American workers happier? Give them more paid time off.
According to research from Springfield, Mass.-based MassMutual’s 2015 Generations@Work Study, extended vacation tops American workers’ preferences for additional benefits, with 47 percent of respondents indicating they would like more days off. Overall, better 401(k) matches came in second with 44 percent.
The survey of 1,517 working Americans aged 18-plus also showed differences in benefits preferences between generations and genders. For example, 47 percent of of Generation X, respondents aged 36-49, favored a better 401(k) match over more vacation, at 44 percent, while baby boomers (aged 50-70) and Generation Y (aged 15-35) prefer vacation time.
Women were more likely to favor lifestyle benefits like flexible work schedules, expanded health-care options, tuition reimbursement and free gym memberships than men, who were more likely to prefer financial benefits like more investment choices, free lunches, better 401(k) matches and no health-care premiums.
“Given the varied preferences for employee benefits, the takeaway for employers is to offer as broad a menu of benefits as possible and consider offering new or expanded benefits on a voluntary or employee-paid basis,” said Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president of MassMutual Retirement Services and Worksite Insurance.
Baby boomers were also more likely to prefer financial benefits, like better 401(k) matches, free health care and more investment choices than their younger counterparts, while millennials were more likely to favor flexible work schedules and reimbursements for education and tuition.