Upgrade Your Employee Benefits for Millennials and Gen Z

Offering Employee Benefits that Gen Y and Gen Z Want Will Ensure You Recruit and Retain the Best of the Newest Generations

Nearly 60 percent of the workforce is comprised of Generation Y, also known as millennials, and Generation Z now that we’ve entered 2020. Employers across the nation need to recruit the best in these generations to stay competitive and successful, but many are still wondering how to recruit and retain them. To give companies a competitive advantage in hiring and retaining,  Employer Support Services highlights the employee benefits that Gen Y and Gen Z express as their top motivators for working with any given company.


Salary is the Most Important Employee Benefit

According to Lincoln Financial Group, both millennials and Gen Z rank salary as the most influential benefit when considering a job. Growing up during the Great Recession and seeing its effects, both generations are concerned about financial security, meaning they want adequate salaries.

Salaries, however, aren’t the only benefit they are concerned about. Sixty percent of Gen Z and 65 percent of Gen Y said they would accept a 10 percent lower salary if their employer offered a better employee benefits package. Many of the additional benefits these generations list as crucial deal with financial security now and in the future.


Savings and Financial Assistance Benefits

Young woman looking at employee benefits

Millennials and Gen Z-ers are the most educated generations. Nearly 40 percent of millennials have a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to only 25 percent of Baby Boomers and 29 percent of Gen X-ers. Gen Z-ers are even expected to surpass millennials in education. With all that education, however, members of both Gen Y and Gen Z are carrying large amounts of debt. Millennials are carrying an average of $27,900 and Gen Z an average of $14,700 in debt, according to the 2019 Planning & Progress Study by Northwestern Mutual. With the large amount of debt, both generations are having trouble saving for the future. As such, many millennials and Gen-Zers want financial assistance from their employers in various areas.

The following benefits are all considered highly influential when either generation is considering a job:

  • Retirement Savings
  • Home Purchase Assistance
  • Debt Assistance
  • Student Loan Repayment


Health and Wellness Employee Benefits

Health benefits are also relevant in the millennial’s and Gen-Zer’s job search. In addition to the standard medical insurance, the Lincoln Financial Group study found that long-term disability insurance and life insurance are also top contenders in benefit considerations. Eric Reisenwitz, SVP and Chief Operating Officer, Group Protection, Lincoln Financial Group says, “They are looking for employers that will help them achieve their financial goals, and protect their financial futures.”

In addition, Harvard Business Review released an article stating that workers aged 18 to 30 are particularly affected by mental health challenges and deal with almost twice as much pressure in their lives as their senior co-workers. To overcome the mental health challenges that the younger generations face, consider mental health benefits and support actions for your employees.


Remote Work Opportunities & Flexibility

With 63 percent of married-couple families having both parents employed, work schedule flexibility and working remotely is cited by many millennials and Gen Z-ers as an influential benefit offering. With advanced technology making remote work possible, and both generations wanting the flexibility to live their lives outside of the normal nine to five schedules, the younger workforce is increasingly pushing for the benefit.

The New York Times addresses the matter and states, “More of them expect and demand flexibility — paid leave for a new baby, say, and generous vacation time, along with daily things, like the ability to work remotely, come in late or leave early, or make time for exercise or meditation. The rest of their lives happens on their phones, not tied to a certain place or time — why should work be any different?”

Instead of forcing their lives to fit around work and commuting, these generations are paving the way for jobs to accommodate their daily needs. As a company, offering flexibility in work schedules is a low-cost benefit that can help attract top talent.


Lifestyle Employee BenefitsTwo young men looking over papers together

As a branch off of work schedule flexibility, millennials and Gen Z-ers appreciate lifestyle employee benefits to help them meet their own personal goals or help them achieve work-life balance. From health coaching to pet care and even in-office daycare, lifestyle benefits that meet their needs and wants is a good way to attract the younger workforce and provide a holistic lifestyle they’ll appreciate.


Professional Growth Opportunities

Millennials and Gen Z-ers also want opportunities to advance in their profession. According to SHRM, “They want to know that they are joining an organization that provides career movement and experimentation.”

From in-house development programs to continuing education and even mentorships, companies can offer growth opportunities as a benefit to employees. Both generations want to continue learning and advancing in their careers to contribute worthwhile work to the company.

From current financial concerns to future security, many factors are influencing what the most important employee benefit is to Generations Y and Z. As an employer, start implementing some highly-valued employee benefits to attract and retain top talent. For help in benefits administration or other employer services, contact Employer Support Services.

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