Work’s not all about the money … or is it?

While we all need to earn a living, younger people are increasingly motivated by more than just their paypacket. How are creative companies responding to the challenge of offering meaningful benefits to their younger team members?

Illustration by Peepshow

Millennials don’t care about money! At least, not according to the countless studies and think pieces that have been clogging up our newsfeeds over the past few years, with claims that 20-somethings would rather choose ‘avo toast’ and travelling the world over being financially well-endowed.

The truth is that millennials’ brunching habits don’t bear much resemblance to how the rest of the planet goes about their daily lives. But with the workforce gradually becoming more heavily weighted in their favour, it is something that businesses are being forced to become much wiser to, particularly when it comes to keeping hold of talent. A 2016 survey by Deloitte found that, in the UK, 71% of millennials said they expect to change jobs within five years – the highest figure in the developed world. This presents a major challenge across all business sectors, the creative industries included, and one which seemingly can’t just be answered with the old school solution: a pay rise.

It’s a challenge that creative businesses are being presented with much more often than they would have been even a decade ago, says Pip Jamieson, founder of creative network The Dots. “Gone are my parents’ generation who thought that money would bring them happiness. What I love about the generation coming through is that they’ve woken up to the fact that life is short. While we need money to live, there are so many other things that help us [decide] if we want to work somewhere or not. I work with a number of startups and, if they just focus on money, their retention rates are really low, because if you’re just competing on money, when the next higher paid job comes along they’ll jump ship.”