How to structure an employee benefits package for Gen Z?
Generation Z, also called iGeneration, is now slowly but surely entering the workplace, and companies must start to plan on strategies to entice these workers into their ranks. From their experience, companies know that beyond salary and paid leave an employee benefit package matters to millennials, and it will also have a significant role when recruiting the iGeneration. How can companies cater their employee benefits package for Gen Z? Do these packages have to differ dramatically from ones primarily focusing on older generations? In this article, we will answer the question of how to shape new employee benefits packages to be in line with Gen Z expectations.
How Gen Z differs from Millenials?
Millennials are a generation born between 1980 – to mid-90s and is as of today, largest population age group on earth. Gen Z is all those who were born between 1995 and 2010-ish. Knowing the difference between the two is crucial for a business to stay relevant in the recruitment processes and the future. There are differences between the generations that you must take into consideration when preparing an employee benefits package for Gen Z, but there are also similarities.
How are Gen Y and Gen Z similar?
Both of the generations are global and tech-savvy individuals, with a keen understanding of social media and oriented towards social responsibility and self-development. While Gen Z is often described as the generation born with the smartphone in their hands, Gen Y saw all the technological changes coming, and their lives have been evolving around it, too. From an employee benefits perspective, the most significant similarities between the two generation are that both generations are:
- Tech Savvy:
Both generations are native to smartphones, applications and can’t remember life without the internet.
- Digitally social:
Both generations understand and use daily different social apps for communication, work, pleasure, and information.
- Focused on development:
Gen Z and Gen Y want to continually learn new things and become better at what they do.
- Social responsibility driven:
This trend that started with millennials is now also being adopted by their Gen Z counterparts.
How is Gen Z different from the Millennial generation?
Generation Z will bring significant changes to their new workplace due to the way they see the world and their behaviors. The main differences between the two generations show that Gen Z is:
- Even more tech-savvy – Gen Z is on average spending 17 hours a day on their mobile phones alone.
- More cautious – They are especially more financially cautious, as they have lived through, and witnessed their family members and/or friends losing their jobs during, the 2008 recession.
- Less educated – iGeneration prefer not to start their life with debt, and so many will eschew an expensive university education, as opposed to Millenials who are the most educated generation so far, but not always able to find a job after graduating from university.
- More individual – Gen Z wants to achieve everything by themselves, and prefer working alone rather than in a team.
- Less tolerant – If a Gen Z experiences a problem with a brand or a website, it’s doubtful he or she will ever return there.
- Less patient – Gen Z grew up with a mobile device in their hand and, as a result, there is a tendency and expectation for everything to be available immediately.
- Less focused – On average the attention span of a Gen Z person lasts only 8 seconds compared to 12 of the Millennials.
- Better at multitasking – Gen Z can do multiple things at once, on multiple devices, and they can do it well.
How do I design the employee benefits package for Gen Z?
Your employee benefits packages have to be ready before Gen Z enters your workforce. With representatives of Gen Z being more money cautious, they are more likely to stay longer with their first employer, assuming that their other basic benefits are met. Since they are more focused on owning and buying than “experiencing,” their salary, comprehensive health insurance, training, and development programs will be of the utmost importance for them. If an employer covers all expenses that are work-related, Gen Z can feel secure and may choose to stay with their employer long term.
What can a company offer to attract Gen Z workers?
- Satisfy their immediate concerns
Generation Z’s goals are usually short-term and come with high expectations. That’s why they will more likely be interested in benefits that will fulfill their immediate financial needs, such as comprehensive health care, tuition reimbursement, or commuter benefit plans. Gen Z is focused on individualism and is better at multitasking than millennials, so remote work or work from home can be an answer to their needs, saving them time and money on the everyday commute.
- Don’t forget about the “standard” employee benefit package
Health insurance at work is now considered a “standard” among employee benefit packages. While members of Generation Z are high achievers and are ready to work hard, they want all of their work-related needs to be met by their employer. That means adding vision, dental, maternity and even wellbeing benefits to the package.
- Help fight work-related mental problems
Help these individual high-achievers combat stress, fatigue, and other common mental health issues in the workplace by offering employee assistance programs (EAPs). No longer will your new employees be shy to talk about these issues; especially if you provide a safe place for them to do it in.
- Make it digital
Offering telemedicine programs or virtual mental health counseling via a mobile phone will make them feel more “safe,” as the digital world is what they know and understand very well. Being able to get instant access to a doctor’s advice and get prescriptions without losing time for a visit, and getting convenient and mobile-friendly emotional support instead, will be much valued by these smartphone natives.
- Offer financial aid or advice
Since a Gen Z worker is very money cautious, offering financial counseling sessions, or even loan payment aid for them, will help to build trust and loyalty with your company. Explaining the importance of saving, and then helping them to develop their plans for the future, is a way to retain a young employee.
- Add ‘Lifestyle’ Benefits
This generation is expecting employers to supply them with the opportunity for personal growth on their terms. Let Gen Z staff choose how they want to spend their lifestyle benefits by offering lifestyle spending accounts. They can then choose between a gym membership, spa weekend getaway, or even an extra language or skills course, and not something imposed by the company.
Structure your employee benefits package for Gen Z with Pacific Prime.
We only presented here some of the predictions on how the future employee benefits package for Gen Z might look. The ultimate goal of employee benefits is to keep employees happy and retain them as long as possible, in addition to keeping them healthy and productive. However, if you want to attract these new workers, you need start re-thinking and re-structuring your employee benefits package now, as the oldest of the Gen Zs are currently in university and they will be looking for internships and jobs soon. This will be the perfect occasion for your company to recruit them for long-term employment, assuming the employee benefits package is right.