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The Benefits Gen Z Employees Want in the Workplace

BrightPlan Team

Did you know that by 2022, roughly 25% of the global workforce will be from Generation Z? Defined by the cohort born between 1997 and early 2000s, they will make up an increasing number of your company’s new hires. The oldest Gen Z are in their early twenties, so some of your younger colleagues might be members of this generation. To attract top talent from this cohort of employees, employers need to understand who they are and what’s important to them when entering the job market. 

If Millennials are known for their education levels, digital know-how and diversity, Gen Zers are even more so. 57% of Gen Z enrolled in college in 2018―compared to 52% of millennials in 2003 and 43% of Gen X in 1987. Only 52% of Gen Z identify as non-Hispanic white, significantly smaller than 61% of millennials and 70% of Gen X. In contrast, one in four (25%) Gen Zers are Hispanic, compared to 17% of millennials and 12% of Gen Xers.

Gen Z will not only bring a fresh perspective to your organization, but they will also bring their adaptability and enthusiasm to the workplace. Knowing how to attract and retain these employees will be key to your company’s future success. HR and benefits leaders who can incorporate Gen Z preferences into their overall strategy will get noticed by Gen Z talent. 

As the most educated generation, Gen Zers tend to do their research when job searching and take into account a company’s overall workplace benefits. They also have different priorities than their millennial counterparts. Any company can gain from learning more about this cohort and understand what matters to them. 

Here are three benefits Gen Z employees are looking for in the workplace:

A Sense of Community

Gen Z is looking for an environment that can provide a sense of safety. 77% of Gen Z college students surveyed said “feeling safe” in a workplace community was their top priority. This statistic makes sense considering Gen Zers grew up in a world of school shootings and the war on terror. 

Gen Zers are team players. Attract young talent to your organization by showing them your company’s active employee communities or resource groups. Encourage new employees to participate, lead, or even create new employee communities. Gen Zers need to feel connected to their colleagues to do their best work―leading to higher retention and productivity. 

Professional Development 

More so than their Millennial colleagues, Gen Z employees crave long-term growth at a company. We expect younger employees to seek development and learning opportunities early in their careers, and Gen Zers are no different. In addition to traditional learning opportunities in their line of work, Gen Z employees also want to stay ahead of the technology curve. They don’t remember a world without smartphones and are even more digitally savvy than Millennials. Workplace benefits that encourage professional growth and development, such as a clear career path and learning platforms for new technologies or skills, are compelling for this generation. 

Gen Z employees also seek mentorship, both in a one-on-one and group setting. Companies who do this well will be seen positively by Gen Z talent. 

Financial Stability and Well-being

The Great Recession in 2008-2009 shaped Gen Zers profoundly. It made them crave financial stability as a result. 2 out of 3 Gen Z employees would pick a job that offers financial stability over a job they enjoy. Despite their young age, Gen Zers are more frugal than other generations and care more about their financial well-being. 60% already have a savings account and 71% are focused on saving for the future.

Employers can help Gen Z employees take their savings habits to the next level by offering a Total Financial Wellness solution as part of their workplace benefits. A solution that includes a wide array of features that matter to your Gen Z employees’ financial life, such as education, planning, investing, and day-to-day money management―all in a well-designed app or website―can go a long way in attracting and retaining talent. See our Buyer’s Guide to learn more about the capabilities to look for when evaluating financial wellness solutions.

With 65 million strong members in the U.S. today, Gen Z is a generation you can’t ignore. Listening to their needs and offering workplace benefits that matter to this generation can better prepare you for the future workforce.

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