How to create broker services that meet the desires of Gen Z employees
As a broker, you strive to understand what your clients' employees want. Employees entering the workforce for the first time want more than traditional benefits. They want benefits that support the challenges they experience, not the challenges of their parents' generations.
Too often, employers address this need with quirky new benefits like on-site massages, pet insurance, or free ice cream. While all those ideas can be fun, they don't address what employees crave from their lives and employers.
To ensure your broker solutions meet your clients' needs, you need to get to know their employees, and it's important to note that what employees want often varies across generational lines. In this guide, we look at the youngest generation in the workforce – Gen Z.
People from this generation were born between 1997 and about 2015. Although some of them are still in high school or even middle school, they will be working for your clients soon, and the oldest members of this generation are already at work and reshaping the benefits landscape. Here's what you need to consider about Gen Z as you structure your broker services.
Work to understand the needs of your Gen Z employees – and their challenges
Gen Z is not afraid to ask for mental health days, and they're not afraid to tell their employers what they need. If that doesn't work, they'll pack up and quit. According to research from the talent acquisition firm Lever, about two-thirds of Gen Z workers say they will leave their jobs this year.
However, trends indicate that they're likely to find a new position quickly. LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslandsky dubbed the Great Resignation as the Great Reshuffle, and he reported that Gen Z members quit a job and started a new one at an 80% higher rate than in the past. This means that employers have to work harder to keep employees from this generation. To do that, employers must understand the challenges Gen Z faces.
Understand the value of good work-life balance – and act on it
According to an extensive study from Deloitte, almost half of Gen Z feel stressed. Unfortunately, when workers are stressed, they don't leave their worries at the door when they come to work. Instead, they generally end up being unfocused and unproductive at work.
The average lost productive time rate is 2.5% of an employee's annual salary. This is how much employers spend when their employees miss work or don't focus while they're at work. However, this number skyrockets when an employee is depressed.
An employee with major depressive disorder costs their employer 33.4% of their average annual salary. Put another way, if an employer pays someone $60,000 annually, $20,000 can be lost to unproductivity if the employee is depressed. That's not a number an employer wants to hit their bottom line. As a benefits broker, you can draw in additional business when you offer employers solutions that can help.
By offering mental health benefits, employers can help reduce depression and stress issues for Gen Z or any other generation. This can include assistance programs to help employees access anxiety, substance abuse, and grief services. It can consist of free access to mental health apps or on-site mental health support. As a broker, you may want to explore adding these types of benefits to your list of broker services.
Finances are a concern for Gen Z – and they want help from their employers
When selecting benefits solutions you want to offer, you can't overlook how financial wellness affects mental health. If you decide to offer benefits centered around mental health, you may want to round out the offerings with a financial wellness plan. These offerings educate Gen Z and workers from other generations about how to manage their finances.
The correct information can be critical in this situation. In fact, education about money management often supersedes income on its own. In other words, someone who doesn't know how to manage a $100,000 annual salary may be more stressed than someone living on less than half that amount.
Gen Z doesn't have enough savings – but their employers can help
Gen Z is likely to have more debt than savings than any other generation. According to a Bankrate survey, almost a quarter (23%) of this generation has more debt than savings. Because most debt grows faster than savings, this generation's debt will likely outpace their savings quickly unless they take action.
The situation has gotten worse over the last couple of years. This generation has watched their savings dwindle – 46% of Gen Z lost emergency savings in 2021. You need emergency savings if you want financial security. When people don't have emergency savings, they can't deal with basic emergencies. If their vehicle breaks down, for example, they can't take it to the shop and get a rental car for a few days. So, they drive the vehicle and make the problem worse, rely on rides from friends and missing work, or take other less-than-ideal paths.
Gen Z is changing the benefits landscape, and as more of this generation enters the workforce, they will make even more significant changes. As a broker, you must understand what this new generation wants and ensure it's reflected in the solutions you offer. Gen Z wants meaning from their jobs and a position that aligns with their social views. They also want mental health support and financial wellness.
Gen Z has not been well guided on how to plan for emergencies, and when they don't have adequate emergency savings, they end up stressed and unproductive. At SecureSave, we help employers address this concern. Our employer-sponsored emergency savings accounts help employees save for emergencies, and this, in turn, safeguards productivity for employers. This benefit appeals to Gen Z, but it's also critical for members of other generations who struggle with saving on their own. To learn more, contact us today.