Employment Benefits Done Right: Creating Benefits Plans for an SME Workforce

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Generation Z, the financially-smart, technologically-savvy and entrepreneurial population, is all set to rule the professional future, workforce-wise. According to an estimate, by the next year, around 36% of the total workforce will consist of those belonging to Generation Z. Considering that, small to medium-sized businesses cannot afford to ignore this group. Like the millennial counterparts, those belonging to Generation Z are transforming SMEs, which has raised several challenges for employers. One of those challenges is choosing the greatest employment benefits.

Employment Benefits for Gen Z

There are a number of similarities between Gen Y and Gen Z, especially when it comes to preferences such as flexibility, environment-friendly practices and love for technology. However, at the same time, there are a number of areas where both generations stand poles apart.

There are a number of similarities between Gen Y and Gen Z, especially when it comes to preferences such as flexibility, environment-friendly practices and love for technology. However, at the same time, there are a number of areas where both generations stand poles apart.

Considering that, workforces have to tweak their employee benefits packages to better serve their Generation Z employees.

The following are some of the best employee benefits for Generation Z.

Personal and Professional Growth

If there’s one factor which the current generation cares about, it’s to consistently grow as professionals, and as well-rounded human beings. This collection has been trained to push the limits of learning and to never stop learning. They have a thirst for knowledge and advancement that’s always there, wherever they go.

They are also quick learners, like to change things up, and always have their eyes set on the next obstacle. Considering all this, SMEs, regardless of their industries, should invest in their employee development programs directed particularly at this group.

They should prime their focus on:

  • Training employees in order to help them develop their skills overall
  • Providing them ample resources and material to move ahead in their careers
  • Investing in professional and personal counseling for employees.
  • Develop soft skills, such as personal finance management in your employees. Services such as Credit Karma are good investments, on this front.

Evaluate all your options, your industries, and the market trends, before you create a program.

Student Loan Repayment Assistance Programs

The student loan debt crisis is going through the roof. Through 2019, the total debt in the US crossed the $1.4 trillion mark. Considering such crippling debt, a number of people are being forced to work overtime, manage several gigs, and even take out more loans than ever before.

SMEs contain some of the biggest targets of the student loan crisis, i.e. younger workers. To alleviate this problem, and make sure that their employees remain satisfied and efficient, many companies are now offering student assistance and/or loan repayment programs. Via such programs, employers can either offer to pay a portion of employees’ existing debt, or sponsor the entirety of their college education, or both.

Take into account your company’s budget, and see if this perk would be feasible for you.

General Spending Accounts

Generation Z is more health-conscious, as compared to generations before them. From maintaining a healthy lifestyle to being selective of what they consume, Gen Z is setting positive examples for others, across the board.

However, the preferences will vary from person to person. Some people enjoy intense workouts, while others prefer stretching with some yoga. Some like to sweat it out in a Zumba session. For this reason, companies have started offering ‘general spending accounts’ (GSAs), instead of memberships at gyms or yoga classes.

Employers make taxable contributions, which employees can spend on gym memberships, saunas, fitness clubs or yoga retreats of their choice.

This can cater to all of an employee’s personal needs, as they’ll better be able to spend on the things they want the most outside of the workplace.

Mentoring Programs

The current workforce mostly consists of 18-23-year-olds. These individuals are at the earlier stages of their careers, and they are still learning, growing, while looking up to their managers and superiors to teach them. This is why many companies are offering mentorship programs to assist their employees. The previous generations never considered this to be an employee benefit, while millennials do so.

A typical mentorship program has experienced employees volunteering to mentor their less experienced (and younger) counterparts. The greatest thing about these programs is that they have virtually zero cost.

Civil Volunteer Time-Off

One very interesting benefit to offer your younger employees is civil volunteering time-off. The current generation of workers is quite selfless, when it comes to social consideration. They care about causes related to the economic stability, environment, as well as technological development. They also like working for companies that value such causes. This is why, employers have started offering volunteer time off, on top of regular PTO.

Conclusion – Quick Employment Benefits Tips

Here are some benefits management pointers for SMEs with a younger workforce:

  • Clearly communicate the benefits plan
  • Track its effectiveness
  • Calculate the cost
  • Take regular surveys

Make sure you communicate all your development and employment benefits plans with your employees and keep them in the know about everything, including the overall benefits outlook.