Identifying Gen Z
That’s right, it’s time to start thinking about adapting your employee benefits plan to meet the needs of Gen Z. You might be thinking, “But didn’t we just do that to reach more millennials?” The answer is probably yes, but to assume the two generations have the same needs would be a misstep in trying to market to the upcoming workforce.
The term “Gen Z” loosely refers to those born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s. This is the period of time immediately following the widely-discussed Millennial generation. The exact birth date ranges and generation name are still being debated. Gen Z is also referred to as the following:
- iGeneration (iGen)
- Post-Millennials, and
- the Homeland Generation.
Ok, there’s a new generation. What’s the big deal?
While marketing departments were quick to notice the differences present when Millennials came on the scene, many businesses incorrectly assume that Millennials and Gen Z are one in the same. Sure, both generations have strong ties to social media, but in many ways the similarities stop there.
Making up about 25% of the current population, Gen Z is quickly approaching full-time employment age, so understanding their values—separate from the Millennials who came before them—is critical to any business hoping to thrive in the future.
Distinguishing Generation Z from Millennials
While both Millennials and Gen Z-ers have a strong attachment to the digital sphere, Generation Z seems to have learned a little from Millennials’ mistakes. Gen Z leans toward platforms that are more temporary in nature—SnapChat and Instagram stories, for instance. These platforms display the user’s information for a time, but then disappear rather than storing it for everyone to see indefinitely. As social natives, Gen Z also values security in the digital sphere. This makes them more intentional with the information they share and less likely to take risks online than the Millennial pioneers of social media.
Making up 25% of the population, Gen Z is quickly approaching full-time employment age, so understanding their values is critical to any business hoping to thrive in the future.
Generation Z was also raised in a down economy. While not as impactful as the Great Depression, America’s most recent recession did affect the children being raised during that time. These effects can be seen in the budget-mindedness of Generation Z and in their skepticism of “The American Dream”. Generation Z is much more likely to understand the value of hard work and to feel less entitled due to watching their parents struggle during the recession. For similar reasons, this generation appears to take great pride in their thriftiness and their ability to save up to achieve their goals.
Security is also extremely important to members of Generation Z. Being raised in a world that had just experienced the September 11th attacks, the members of Gen Z felt the tension and uncertainty that followed as they were growing up. This tension and uncertainty was then exacerbated by school shooter drills and other enhanced safety measures that came about during their childhood years and beyond.
Generation Z is much more likely to understand the value of hard work and to feel less entitled to success due to watching their parents struggle during the recession.
As a side effect of these insecurities and the widespread availability of digital media, Gen Z is also known for its service and its passion for social injustice. With greater access to information about global causes, Generation Z is finding ways to make a difference, and they are demanding that the businesses and organizations around them step up as well.
Is Your Benefits Plan Ready for Gen Z?
Given the many changes in values and personality characteristics between Millennials and Gen Z, it’s important to convey your benefits plan differently to potential Gen Z employees as you seek to attract and retain top talent in this generation
You can start by choosing a company committed to improving the mobile friendliness of your benefits plan information. This will appeal to both Millennials and Gen Z-ers. Gen Z also seems to be particularly fond of more visual and “snack-sized” information (think emojis and memes), so keep that in mind as you develop your online marketing materials.
It’s important to convey your benefits plan differently to potential Gen Z employees as you seek to attract and retain top talent in this generation.
You should also be prepared to answer questions more immediately than ever before. Generation Z has grown up having the answers to all of their questions a mere Google search away, so waiting for answers about their benefits plan will be seen as a major inconvenience for them. Services such as live chat or having robust search functionality within your benefits portal will be critical in appeasing this new generation of employees.
When presenting your benefits plan to potential Gen Z employees, you will also want to focus on the total value of the benefits plan. Because Generation Z is more budget conscious, understanding each piece of the plan and how it impacts them will be important in understanding the full value and to determine the plan’s true worth. Conveying this information in a conversational and concise tone will be important as well in order to develop trust with this social-minded generation.
Generation Z is more budget conscious. Conveying this information in a conversational and concise tone will be important to develop trust with this social-minded generation.
Last, but not least, your benefits plan should be seen as a part of your company’s overall mission. Employees from Gen Z are looking for causes and companies to rally behind, so showing them that you care about social issues at the level of your employee benefits plan can go along way in attracting employees and building loyalty. Members of Generation Z are looking for companies that are willing to step up and make a difference, so be sure to highlight the added value of your employee benefits plan and other social efforts that are at the core of your company mission.
PHP Offers a Solution
By making some small changes in how you present your employee benefits plan, you can better attract the best and brightest employees for your organization, even as Generation Z enters the scene. The employee benefits plan you choose matters, and our team at PHP is committed to providing you with the tools, resources, and guidance you need to attract talent in this generation and generations to come.
PHP is hard at work preparing for Generation Z with our user-friendly benefits portal, our commitment to social change, and our relentless pursuit of great customer service.
We hope that this information will help you stay ahead of the curve by understanding this new generation of employees. You can trust that we are hard at work preparing for Generation Z with the launch of our user-friendly (and mobile-friendly) benefits portal, our commitment to social change, and our relentless pursuit of great customer service. If you’re considering a change to your benefits plan that might fit the needs of Generation Z, check out our plan comparison tool to find what you (and Gen Z) need.