Generation Z is slowly but surely taking over the job market, especially in entry level and junior positions. In fact, by 2025, By 2025, Gen Z will make up about 27 percent of the workforce. Born between 1997 and 2012, the oldest members of Generation Z are now 25 years old – in other words, they’re heading into their late twenties! It’s high time, then, for corporations and human resources departments to become familiar with their work styles, motivations, and perhaps most importantly, what they’re looking for when job hunting. Wondering what your organization can do to recruit and retain the best Generation Z talent the workforce has to offer? Read on to learn more from the employee benefits experts at Benely!
What does Gen Z Want in the Workplace?
What your youngest employees want in terms of benefits, recognition, and culture doesn’t have to be a mystery. As a generation defined by its awareness of changing societal norms, the importance of mental health and wellbeing, and a high value placed on respect for diversity, this generation of employees really just wants their employer to treat them, their coworkers, customers, and the environment with respect. Below, we’ll break down five of the top items Generation Z wants in the workplace, and how your organization can deliver.
A Culture of Diversity and Respect
Generation Z is more diverse than any other generation of Americans. In fact, 47 percent of Generation Z employees identify as BIPOC (Black or Indigenous People of Color), while only 39 percent of Millennials, 34 percent of Generation X, and 25 percent of Baby Boomer employees identified as such. As a result, Generation Z has been more open than ever about their disdain for systemic racism, their respect for nonbinary and nontraditional gender identities, and their desire for companies to commit to initiatives advancing principals of diversity and inclusion.
When your HR department is contemplating how your organization can show its employees it hears them, consider options such as the addition of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). ERGs can do wonders to create a positive culture in the workplace and make it known to employees that they are valued at your firm. For more information about how to start an Employee Resource Group or Tips for Creating Effective ERGs, reach out to the employee wellness and benefits experts at Benely.
Younger employees are more cognizant of the importance of whole-person wellness than the generations before them. Along with a greater priority on work life balance, Generation Z wants mental health benefits, and expects them to be covered as part of their medical benefits just like a trip to a primary care doctor would be. Aside from the obvious, i.e., offering reimbursement for psychologist visits, there are many creative ways to show employees that their mental health is valued. For example, a sense of community, a focus on mind-body connection, (think group yoga classes) and an emphasis on PTO and paid family leave can go a long way to improve the culture of wellness in your organization.
Revamping your employee wellness initiatives or exploring new options for medical coverage that provide more comprehensive mental health benefits is easy when you have the right partner in your corner. Benely’s employee benefits and wellness experts at have you covered. Benely partners with Wellworks For You, a leading provider of wellness programs that motivate your employees and produce excellent return on investment time and time again.
Tuition Assistance and Student Loan Reimbursement
According to the Education Data Initiative, The average 25 year old has almost $34,000 in student loan debt, and 24 percent of adults under the age of 30 carry educational debt. This makes Generation Z more likely than any other age group to have staggering amounts of student debt. With tuition assistance and student loan reimbursement already becoming a more popular new perk, expect this type of benefit to grow as your workforce does.
Remote or Hybrid Work
Work life balance is important to Generation Z employees, who care more about self care, mental health, and productive rest than their parents did. They’re also highly attuned to the possibility of burnout, recognizing their own desire to feel engaged with their work and complete tasks at their own pace. Offering a hybrid or remote environment has proven, especially over the last few years, to be an excellent (and cost effective) way to achieve a healthy work life balance for employees.
Remote work, whether every day or just a few days a week, has huge time saving benefits that directly translate to better work life balance. For example, by working from home, employees can save an hour or more of commuting each way, and an hour or more devoted to getting ready for work. They can also avoid the hassle of carefully planning times to tend to things like doctor’s appointments and care for pets or young children.
Both young Millennials and members of Generation Z alike have grown accustomed to remote or hybrid work as the standard for establishing a healthy work life balance. When considering what items will attract and retain young employees, offering remote or hybrid work in all possible positions should be at the top of your Human Resources department’s list.
An Ethical Environment
Generation Z cares more about climate change than any other generation before it. They’re increasingly attuned to the impact companies have on the world around them, including their carbon footprints. Tackling this priority looks different for each industry. For example, if your company is focused on manufacturing, emphasize your recyclable product packaging, water conservation efforts, and environmentally friendly production techniques.
If you’re a B2B firm, highlight your annual giving to eco-conscious organizations. Beyond environmental awareness, companies can show employees they’re focused on being a great steward by offering paid volunteer days and contributing to the causes employees care about.
Partner with an Expert in Employee Benefits and Wellness
Looking to attract and retain Generation Z employees? The employee benefits and wellness experts at Benely have you covered. Want to learn more? Contact Benely or request a free demo today to get started.