Gen Z, affectionately known as zoomers, has arrived on the scene and will undeniably transform the employee benefits landscape.
As the generation born between 1997 and 2012, zoomers already constitute an impressive quarter of the U.S. population. However, this is just the beginning, as projections indicate that by the year 2030, they will encompass a staggering 30% of the entire workforce.
Employers keen on securing success in the future understand that it is imperative to win the hearts and minds of Gen Z right now. To accomplish this, organizations are reevaluating and recalibrating their benefit offerings to align seamlessly with what zoomers desire, require and value.
If your organization is considering doing the same, keep reading to discover the employee benefits Gen Z wants most from their organizations.
1. Student Loan Assistance
As companies strive to attract and retain young talent, offering student loan assistance can be a powerful incentive. The financial landscape for Gen Z is challenging, given the combination of inflation, soaring living costs, and the burden of hefty student loan payments. The statistics reveal that the average Gen Zer carries a substantial $15,000 in student loan debt, which can significantly hinder their financial stability and future prospects.
By incorporating student loan assistance into their employee benefits package, companies can provide a much-needed leg up on the recruiting competition. This attractive offering not only helps reduce the financial strain on young employees but also demonstrates the employer’s understanding and support of their financial struggles. As a result, it fosters a sense of loyalty and commitment among Gen Z employees, leading to higher job satisfaction and increased productivity.
2. Health Insurance
Gen Z understands the importance of safeguarding their health and well-being, but they also seek solutions that align with their financial capabilities. In 2023 the oldest zoomers are only 25 years old, which means they have another year or so to enjoy their parents’ health insurance, as mandated by the ACA. But for employees who don’t have this type of coverage, as well as for those who will soon be losing parental coverage, affordable healthcare plans with low premiums are the most highly coveted.
Navigating the Complexities of Healthcare
Education on how to effectively choose and use the right healthcare plan are also paramount according to BenefitsPRO. For the Gen Zers who are facing their first foray into employer-sponsored healthcare, the ability to comprehend and make sound choices regarding their own coverage is essential. By receiving comprehensive education on how to effectively choose and utilize the right healthcare plan, these individuals can confidently navigate the complexities of the system, ensuring access to the necessary medical services while minimizing financial burdens.
3. Mental Health
Recent studies have shown that Gen Z is experiencing more stress, anxiety and burnout compared to previous generations, exacerbated by the pandemic-induced mental health crisis. In fact, a staggering 81% of Zoomers have left jobs for mental health reasons, as reported by Harvard Business Review. Another study by SHRM found that 61% of Gen Z employees would strongly consider leaving their current jobs if they were offered significantly better mental health benefits elsewhere. It is evident that mental health coverage has emerged as a crucial factor in attracting and retaining Gen Z talent.
To appeal to this generation and build a resilient workforce, it is imperative to create an employee benefits package that prioritizes mental health support. By offering comprehensive mental health coverage, you can demonstrate your commitment to the well-being of your employees, fostering a workplace where they feel valued, supported and empowered.
4. Work-life Balance
The pandemic has significantly influenced the mindset of Gen Zs regarding the role of work in their lives. While work remains a crucial aspect of their identity, achieving a healthy work-life balance has become a top priority for them. According to Deloitte’s 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, work-life balance ranks as the most critical factor for Gen Z when selecting an employer.
As digital natives, zoomers are particularly inclined toward positions that allow them to utilize technology and work remotely or adopt flexible schedules. This preference stems from their desire to seamlessly integrate their personal and professional lives. Deloitte’s survey highlights that 77% of Gen Zs would be willing to explore new job opportunities if their current employer required them to work on-site full time.
In light of these findings, employers should recognize the importance of providing flexible work options and embracing technology to cater to the needs and preferences of Gen Z employees. By doing so, they can attract and retain top talent from this generation, fostering a workforce that thrives in a balanced and fulfilling work environment.
5. Learning & Development
Ambitious and eager for growth, Generation Z seeks employers who prioritize learning and development. According to LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index research, increased learning opportunities rank as a top factor in their job searches. Moreover, Gen Z values transparency, clear career progression, and regular feedback to fuel their drive for success.
Gen Z is a force to be reckoned with in the workforce. As they continue to grow in number and influence, organizations that invest in understanding, embracing and catering to the wants, needs and values of zoomers will find themselves well-positioned to attract and retain the top talent of the future. By adopting a purpose-driven, inclusive, flexible, and technologically advanced approach, employers can create an environment where both their business and Gen Z employees can flourish and make a positive impact on the world.
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