Encompassing those born from the mid-1990s to the early 2010s, Gen Z have been entering the workforce over the last few years. And there’s no doubt that the younger generation have been driving change; the Great Resignation was arguably driven by younger employees making the most of a buyers’ market for talent. According to the World Economic Forum, Gen Z will make up about 27% of the global work force by 2025, so many employers are focused on attracting their share of that talent pool. But this begs the question – what about the other 73%

Shifting expectations, especially amongst Gen Z 

As the first generation to have grown up with mobile digital technology form a young age, Gen Z expect a consumer-grade technology experience from the tools they interact with at work. Indeed, all age groups expect more of their employers when it comes to support through benefits and beyond. In our Great Expectations research, 77% of employees reported that their expectations of their employer have risen since the pandemic. The younger generation in particular are driving this change in expectations – with 43% of under 40s saying their expectations have increased compared to 23% of over-40s.  

In terms of benefits provision Gen Z has a different set of priorities, caring more about flexibility, values and diversity. They care more about autonomy and might be more interested in benefits like purchasing more holiday, wellbeing allowances, leisure benefits and vouchers than in more traditional benefits like life insurance – partly due to their life stage as a large portion of this group don’t have any dependents yet. Many employers are doing more to cater to the needs of Gen Z in the race for talent. However, this can sometimes be at the expense of other demographics.   

Are other demographics being left behind?   

The over 40s still make up a large proportion of the employee workforce (73%!) and our research highlights that these more experienced workers are less likely to feel that their employer is providing them with the support they need. In our Great Expectations study, only 46% of people over 40 rated their employer’s benefits provision as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ in how they help support their emotional wellbeing; compared to 55% of people under 40. This older demographic clearly feels that their needs are less well served by the employee benefits offering. They may be part of the ‘sandwich’ generation, caring for elderly relatives as well as children, with the unique challenges this creates.  

Catering to all generations 

When assessing your benefit offering, it’s important to strike the right balance and cater to older as well as younger employees. We’ve seen a real trend towards benefits that can be personalised to the individual’s particular needs and life stage. The communications that support and provide information about the benefits on offer should also be tailored so that employers can easily understand what’s available to them and how it can help.  

Surveying employees to find how they feel their benefits are or aren’t meeting their needs – and reviewing the data based on demographics to identify any gaps – is a good place to start. 

Our recent report, Employee benefits trends: data insights for your 2023 employee benefits strategy, explores five key benefits trends that have emerged over 2022, based on data from the millions of users who made their benefits selections through OneHub as well as insights from our survey of 4,027 employees earlier this year. 

Download the report to discover the other trends that emerged this year - from the most popular benefits on the market, to how employers are addressing the financial crisis.  

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