Gen Z has some distinct characteristics, design and communicate your employee benefits to suit.
Abraham Lincoln predicted that “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.”
Well, Generation Z (Gen Z) may not yet be ruling the roost in Westminster but it is certainly making its presence felt in UK workplaces.
The cohort, which loosely refers to those born between 1995 and 2010, demonstrates some very different characteristics to the ‘millennials’ that precedes it.
Millennials, often referred to as the “me me me generation,” grew up in an era of economic prosperity and relative peace, and tend to focus on themselves.
Members of Gen Z, on the other hand, have emerged at a time of economic crashes, terrorist atrocities and environmental problems. They are known for having a social conscience and constantly searching for the truth, and they will choose to buy from and work for companies that match their values.¹
Gen Z members want full transparency and having grown up using the internet, social networks and mobile technology, are used to cross-referencing diverse sources of information to get to the bottom of issues.¹
They insist on having access to the best technology, put pressure on their employers to provide a flexible working environment and find it easier to talk online than in person, a feature that has led them to be dubbed “the mutants” in some academic circles.²
All this has significant implications for employee benefits and the way they are communicated.
Price Waterhouse Cooper’s (PWC) Future of work research shows that after career progression, salary and development, employee benefits are in fact the fourth most important factor for Gen Z when choosing an employer. ²
Furthermore, Gen Z has been growing up at a time when the mental health conversation has increasingly been getting out into the open, so employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and other relevant benefits are likely to be highly valued.
An employer with a significant proportion of Gen Z employees might want to ensure that it provides one of the more modern employee assistance programmes (EAPs) that offers the option to ‘chat’ with mental health professionals via an online written messaging service rather than via phone.
Additionally, such employers may also wish to consider offering new-style virtual health apps that have been launched by a couple of group risk providers. These can provide the ability to access GPs and other health practitioners by video link. It would be no surprise if other providers also start offering these apps and they become standard industry wide features.
Expert second medical opinion services, which are available on some group risk and health cash plan schemes, could also appeal disproportionately more to members of Gen Z than to those of other cohorts as their inquisitive nature and penchant for self-education and research makes them less likely to accept an initial medical opinion as gospel.
When it comes to communicating benefits, employers seeking to get through to Gen Z should ensure they use formats that its members are comfortable with, such as podcasts, videos & webinars. Chase de Vere is highly experienced in all such mediums, and can help you conduct your communications campaign as well as provide full advisory support.
Also, and most importantly, we can assist you with devising a tailored communications strategy appropriate for all areas of your workforce. Whilst Gen Z may be keen to access apps and videos and correspond by text message, many older employees may not be. Indeed, they may actually find the practices annoying, so it’s important not to put their noses out of joint.
The exact solution will vary from company to company, as no two organisations will have identical demographic make-ups, cultures and budgets. But in some cases it may be necessary to have a multi-channel communications strategy that includes one-to-one or group face-to-face meetings in addition to access via apps and other formats that are likely to engage Gen Z.
Content correct at time of writing and is intended for general information only and should not be construed as advice.