There is about to be a new influx of workers: Gen Z. The ones after Millennials. The group born after 1997.
What do you need to know about Gen Z when it comes to benefits?
- They are digital natives and live online
- Their decisions are driven by social justice over cultural fit
How does this play into your benefits offering and strategy?
When we say digital natives, we mean even phones may become an outdated way of communicating with this group. (At least, according to this one study).
But apart from what one study says, what is the key takeaway?
This generation is mobile first. Information, from Open Enrollment options to work emails, should be easily accessible on a phone.
That being said, no one (not even Gen Z) expects you to do an overhaul of your benefits package. There might already be options at your disposal.
What existing systems can leverage?
Many companies have already started moving toward environmentally conscious options. If you can, skip the printed paper packets. Instead, opt for an online benefits enrollment platform. You may also want to consider a decision making support tool with an interactive artificial intelligence (AI) component. Read more about if AI has a place in Open Enrollment.
Values > Cultural Fit
At face value, it can seem like Gen Z (and even younger Millennials) are very vocal on certain issues.
Common values Gen Z (and many other groups) care about are:
- Social consciousness
- Environmental consciousness
- Remote work, supported by freedom and trust
- Financial health and literacy
While your benefits might not currently support all of these, there may be value in seeing where they can be expanded or relaxed.
For instance, can you look at improving your parental leave policies? Or even offering an online platform for benefits if you’ve normally defaulted to paper packets?
If nothing else, if you offer a Mass Transit benefit under your Commuter Program, you can present this as an environmentally conscious option. While not all Gen Zers may know who Greta Thunberg is, those who do will be interested in pursuing options that support a healthy climate.
Finally, regarding financial health and literacy, this group grew up in the middle of the recession. To introduce the benefits of tax free accounts, present the various products through the overall lens of planning for the future and budgeting in order to have strong financial health.
A seat at the table
Whether you’re ready or not, Gen Z will have a seat at the benefits table this year. That being said, you don’t need to overhaul your whole benefits package.
But, you can tap into their desire to help others, leave the world a better place than they found it, and be financially literate and healthy to offer benefits that work for you and them.
- Should HR Professionals Fear Generation Z? HR Daily Advisor
- What HR Should Know About Generation Z SHRM
- Managers Not Too Enthusiastic About Generation Z Coming to Work SHRM
- Here’s what you need to know about Gen Z, boss Monster.com
- How millennials and Gen Z are reshaping the future of the workforce CNBC