This is the last in a four-part series on building benefits packages to resonate with the diverse generations in today’s workforce. Today, we focus on effective strategies and engagement recommendations for Gen Z.
Gen Z members are accustomed to an on-demand culture and rely heavily on the internet for news and consumer reviews. The digital age, climate change, financial challenges, and COVID-19 continue to influence this rapidly growing workplace cohort.
The Generation Z Profile
Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z is the most racially and culturally diverse generation in America. Many are still in school, but as they enter the workforce, they will easily replace retiring Baby Boomers in number.
Gen Z has witnessed three major U.S. socio-economic disruptions: the Great Recession, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges and the current economic climate may make some more financially cautious and conservative than their elders.
Members of Generation Z are also ambitious and hardworking. Career growth opportunities are often cited as a top priority when job hunting. Others aspire to own a business someday. The do-it-yourself Gen Z desires workplace autonomy and prefers independence to collaboration. This group focuses on self-improvement through various methods, including on-demand learning.
Generation Z is very comfortable with technology and spends an average of 7.3 hours daily on an electronic device. They are keen social media consumers but still value personal relationships.
Benefits Strategies for Gen Z
Generation Z’s youth contributes to their benefits concerns or lack thereof. For example, many plan to remain on their parents’ healthcare plans until their 26th birthday. However, nearly half worry about financial wellness, such as student loan debt.
Their youth and health make a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) paired with a Health Savings Account (HSA) an attractive combination for many Gen Z workers. The triple tax benefits (tax-free contributions, withdrawals, and account growth) of an HSA can help them save for future expenses, including retirement. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) can also be a valuable healthcare benefit for this group due to the tax savings and ability to use funds for everyday healthcare expenses like contact lenses and over-the-counter products like antiseptic ointments, bandaids, contact lens solutions, sunscreen, and more.
Gen Z is more open and accepting of mental health care than older generations. As a result, they tend to value Employee Assistance Programs and CDH accounts that accommodate counseling and mental health services, especially when telehealth options are included.
Many in the Gen Z cohort who attended or graduated college during the pandemic-era moratorium on student loan interest and payments are about to make their first student loan payment. The failure of government efforts to enact comprehensive student loan forgiveness will help drive demand for Student Loan Repayment Assistance programs.
Engaging Gen Z with Their Benefits
Even more so than Millennials, Generation Z is heavily reliant on technology. With this in mind, employers and TPAs should consider a tech-centered approach to benefits education and engagement. Programs that deliver essential information via text, email, social media, video, and web generate the highest engagement and response. The material should be concise, using stimulating graphics where appropriate.
One interesting facet about Generation Z is that they will also look to coworkers and family members as a source of expertise and information. Therefore, bringing in older coworkers to lend their knowledge and experience to this group is often effective.
For more information on benefits and engagement, download DataPath’s free whitepaper “Effective Benefits Strategies for a Multi-Generational Workforce.”
DataPath, Inc. has been a full-service TPA business solutions provider for nearly four decades. Our cloud-based Summit platform is the industry’s first all-in-one solution for CDH, HSA, Well-Being, COBRA, and Billing administration; plus, we offer comprehensive Operations BPO and award-winning Marketing Services for users of all administrative platforms. Please enter your email (above right) to be notified when new blog articles are published.