Employee Benefits and Gen-Z: What You Need to Know

Have you thought about which benefits Gen-Z is on the lookout for? A new generation entering the job search market is no new concept, but each time it happens recruiters need to know what to look out for. As the world evolves, the priorities of new employees changes from one generation to the next. This time around, recruiters need to look out for Gen Z – a generation noted as the most highly intelligent, highly driven individuals ready to disrupt the business world to date.

Approximately 60% of the job search market will consist of Generation-Z workers in the next 10 years. So how can employee benefits affect them, and how can you use benefits to attract Gen-Z employees? In this blog post, we discuss everything you need to know about employee benefits and Gen-Z, including incoming trends, communicating value, and the top benefits to attract this generation. 

Gen Z Values and Employee Benefits

Generation-Z, those who are born in the late 1990s to the early 2000s, highly value work-life balance and personal wellbeing. Crafting an employee benefits plan that aligns with these values are essential. Some examples may include opportunities that foster a sense of community, mental health days, and paid time off. 61% of Gen-Z employees in the workforce report that if their employer offered financial wellness benefits, they would feel less stressed on a daily basis. In turn, stress reduction can result in more productivity and engagement in employees.

Furthermore, well thought-out benefits drive retention. Firstly, better benefit offerings will get employees and Gen-Z talent through the door. 60% of Gen-Z workers say they would accept a 10% lower starting salary in return for a better benefits package. Additionally, young employees will be more committed to their roles if financial wellness benefits are offered and will be more likely to stay at their company. 

Incoming Trends in Employee Benefits

So as a recruiter or benefits manager, where should you start? To begin with, consider moving away from outdated practices. Unfortunately, companies have become increasingly accustomed to providing benefits they are familiar with. But as time passes, people and new generations have differing  needs. Some employers are opting to let employees choose their own benefit plans – better fitting their own individual needs and lifestyles. This personalized approach in turn can also increase happiness organization-wide. Read more here to see how employers should consider offering a wide variety of benefits and give their employees autonomy to find what’s best for them. 

Communicating the Value of Benefits to Generation Z

Because benefits are complicated to understand and filled with industry terminology, they consequently don’t make sense to the average person. In fact, data has shown that the majority of employees don’t read employee benefit materials nor understand their benefits. This displays a mismatch between the two, as employees demand benefits yet don’t know what they have to being with. This is especially evident among Gen-Z, where young workers still depend on their parents’ plans, never having had to manage it themselves.

In addition, a study by Alight Solutions has shown that 60% of Gen-Z Workers are unsatisfied with their company’s current benefits. This means employers must help their employees take advantage of these programs and to do that, bridge the employee benefit literacy gap. 

To begin with, these are two easy ways to start communicating the value of benefits to your employees: 

1. Simplify it! Make complex terms easier to understand in a clear and direct manner.

2. Educate employees about benefits that may be beneficial in the long run.

It’s important to realize that communicating the value of benefits isn’t just a one-time process, especially for Gen-Z workers. Consistently educating your employees year-round about the benefits available, and pointing them to informational resources is critical to increasing engagement.

Which Benefits Will Attract Generation Z?

Financial counselling and resources

This is a great benefit to attract and retain Gen-Z employees. Studies show that Gen-Z individuals are struggling to manage their finances and plan financially for the long term. 57% of Gen-Z don’t know the amount of money in their savings account, which would make it difficult for them to start budgeting. Having financial counselling services would be vastly beneficial, especially when they include tutorials on how to invest and save income.

Flexibility in the workplace

Work-life balance is undoubtedly what Gen-Z values the most, seeking flexible work hours and telecommuting. Work has become somewhat of an obsession in America, as conveyed in this New York Times article, and younger workers are pushing back and demanding flexibility. Employees are shaping work to fit into their lives, not the other way around. How does your organization approach flexibility in the workplace and how can you advertise these policies to attract these employees?

Stress management

In these unprecedented times, mental health issues are at an alarming high. Much of Gen-Z are beginning to craft out their careers in these stressful times. Employee stress can be hugely detrimental to companies, affecting their productivity and resulting in higher turnover and absenteeism. Finding a way to manage stress in the workplace can prove to be crucial; this includes encouraging open and honest communication in safe environments and coaching appointments.

Community perks

To Gen-Z, human interaction and community is key. Having positive and strong relationships in the workplace makes work feel not so much like work. Employers should give them the opportunity to interact with one another, whether that be in-person or virtually. Community perks can be a great way to foster that sense of community while reducing stress and burnout. Think team outings, yoga classes, picnics, game nights, and more!

Professional development opportunities

Professional development opportunities ranks as one of the most valuable things to a Gen-Z employee. These range far and wide and can look like mentorship programs, lunch and learns, or even paid training programs. 76% of Gen-Z employees observe learning as the key to career advancement and without a doubt, there is a clear thirst for more knowledge permeating the workforce. As a result, employers should create an environment of learning and skill development for Gen-Z employees to feel fulfilled and engaged.

Tuition support

Student debt and loans is an area many Gen-Z employees struggle with. Yet only 4% of organizations offer student loan repayment as a benefit. Moreover, three out of four Gen-Z students have student loans to pay off, which is an extremely stressful process. Look into helping them cover their tuition, even by offering a hybrid approach. Read up on this cool new benefit launched by Abbot Laboratories that helps students save for retirement while also paying off their loans.

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What is an employee benefits plan booklet?

It's a document provided by your employee benefits provider that details the coverage level, types of benefits, and cost of your plan. Ask your advisor or your provider to provide you with this document.

If you're still unsure, reach out to us at [email protected] and we can show you examples.


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