Generation Z, the technologically-savvy, financially-smart, and entrepreneurial by nature population, is all set to dominate the future, workforce-wise. In fact, according to one estimate, by 2020, about 36% of the workforce will be comprised of those belonging to Gen Z. With that in mind, businesses can’t afford to ignore this group. Like their earlier counterparts (millennials), those belonging to Gen Z are revolutionizing companies, which has raised many challenges for the employers. One of those challenges is picking the best employee benefits for this generation.
There are a lot of similarities between Gen Y and Gen Z when it comes to their preferences, such as flexibility, love for technology, and environment-friendly practices.
However, at the same time, there are some areas where both generations stand poles apart.
Keeping that in mind, workforces have to tweak their benefits packages to cater to their Gen Z employees.
Continue reading to learn about 5 of the best employee benefits for Gen Z.
Let’s get started.
1. Professional and Personal Growth
If there’s one which the Gen Z cares about more than anything, it’s to constantly grow – both, as professionals, and as human beings.
This generation has been conditioned to push the limits and to never stop learning.
There’s a thirst for knowledge and advancement that’s always there.
They’re quick learners, like to embrace change, and always have their eyes set on the next challenge.
In light of all this, all companies, regardless of their industries, should definitely invest in their employee development programs.
Such programs are now being considered one of the best employee benefits you can offer.
They should be focused on:
- Providing training to employees that help them advance their skills
- Giving them ample resources/material to move ahead in their careers
- Providing, both, professional and personal counseling to employees.
Evaluate your options, your industries, and the contemporary trends, among other things, before you create such a program.
2. Student Assistance/Loan Repayment Programs
The student loan debt crisis is at an all-time high.
In 2019, the collective debt in the US crossed the $1.4 trillion mark.
With such crippling debt, a lot of people are being forced to work overtime, manage multiple jobs/gigs, or worse, take out even more loans than before.
Right now, it’s mostly Gen Y and Gen Z that are feeling the heat of this crisis.
To overcome this problem, and ensure that their workforce remains efficient and satisfied, many companies have started offering student assistance/loan repayment programs.
Through such programs, employers either offer to pay off a certain portion of their employees’ existing student debt, sponsor their college education, or both.
Consider your company’s budget, and see if offering this perk would be feasible for you.
3. Lifestyle Spending Accounts
When compared to other generations, Gen Z is more health-conscious.
From maintaining an active lifestyle to being very selective of what they put in their mouths, this generation is setting positive examples for others.
However, the preferences still vary from person to person.
Some people enjoy intense workouts at the gym.
Others prefer stretching their bodies with some yoga, while some like to sweat it out with Zumba.
For that reason, employers have started offering ‘lifestyle spending accounts’ (LSAs) instead of gym memberships or in-house yoga classes.
Companies make taxable contributions, which the employees can use to spend on the gym, yoga centers, saunas, or fitness clubs of their choice.
You can cater to all of your employees, as they’re free to do whatever they want with their lifestyle accounts.
4. Mentor Programs
The Gen Z workforce mostly consists of 18 to 23 year olds.
They’re at the earlier stages of their career, still learning, growing, and looking up to their seniors to teach them how to do the job.
For that reason, many companies are offering mentorship programs to help their employees.
Apart from the millennials, the previous generations never considered this an employee benefit.
However, now, it’s being considered as one of the best employee benefits.
A typical mentorship program involves having experienced employees volunteer to mentor their less experienced (and younger) colleagues.
The best thing about these programs is that they don’t cost anything.
5. Volunteer Time Off
The last perk on this list of best employee benefits for Gen Z is volunteer time off.
Gen Z (and millennials) are selfless.
They care about causes related to the environment, economic stability, and technological advancement.
They also prefer working for employers that care about such causes.
For that reason, employers have begun offering volunteer time off, in addition to the regular PTO.
Conclusion – Some Quick Benefits Management Tips
Here are some benefits management tips for those with Gen Z employees:
- Communicate the benefits plan
- Track the effectiveness
- Track the cost
- Take surveys
Last, but not least, Gen Z appreciate open communication, so make sure you ask for their opinions on improving your existing plans, and the overall benefits outlook.