The Five Benefits That Gen Z Want in the Workplace
Gen Z will comprise a third of the workforce within the next few years. So what benefits must companies adopt in order to attract and retain this new generation of talented employees?
Born after 1995, Gen Z is slowly replacing retiring Baby Boomers within the workforce. Characterised by social consciousness, a digital-first mindset, and an openness to discuss issues ranging from mental health to politics, this generation isn’t shy about making its aspirations known.
In our newest report, ‘Zooming in on Gen Z’, we compiled our findings from ‘The Benefits Factor’ to discover what Gen Z expects from employers. Here, we’re sharing the five benefits your organisation must provide to become a Gen Z magnet.
Gen Z in the Workplace — What Do They Want?
Gen Z is entering the workforce at a time shaped by a shrinking European Union population and an expanding retiree demographic. As pioneers of a remote-first reality, they bring a unique range of insights and needs to the workplace.
While only 25% of younger workers prefer a traditional office setup, they don’t seek complete remote isolation either. Instead, they prefer flexibility — a balance between collaborative office spaces and the opportunity to choose where they work. Gen Z understands that the physical workplace is a hub for engagement and social interaction that contributes to a richer work experience.
As a result, younger workers demand seamless communication. As digital natives, they expect agile, mobile-first content that unites physical and virtual workspaces. And when they feel overwhelmed, Gen Z relies on mental health support as a core aspect of their employment offering.
The Top Rewards and Benefits for Gen Z
Gen Z employees are expected to change jobs up to ten times before they turn 34. For this new generation, the concept of a career ladder is redundant. Instead, employers must adopt a set of specific rewards and benefits that meet their needs. Here, we’ve outlined the five most important benefits that Gen Z employees are looking for.
1. Paid Leave and Flexible Hours
Above all, Gen Z employees want paid leave and flexible working hours. They prioritise the opportunity to decide their own ways of working and expect employers to understand and accommodate this dynamic.
In ‘Zooming in on Gen Z’ we found that paid leave and flexible working hours scored an impressive 7.85 out of 10 in importance for Gen Z. Similarly, a study by the National Society of High School Scholars found that 72% of Gen Z workers left or considered leaving a job due to inflexibility.
However, this doesn’t mean that Gen Z craves solely remote work. They want the autonomy to shape their workdays in a way that fosters personal wellbeing, while recognising the importance of face-to-face communication when it comes to building meaningful relationships.
2. Navigating a Work-Life Balance
Gen Z consistently prioritises having a healthy work-life balance in the workplace.
In the findings from our exclusive report, we discovered that work-life balance scored an impressive 7.54 out of 10 in terms of importance. This is reflected in the trend of Gen Z workers opting for ‘Lazy Girl Jobs’ — a flexible position that’s non-technical, high-paying and doesn’t require extreme effort or difficulty to complete. To meet Gen Z’s needs, your organisation must promote the importance of a work-life balance from the beginning of the employee journey.
3. Pensions and Future Planning
Contrary to stereotypes, Gen Z actually places significant importance on pension benefits for future planning.
Gen Z has a mature approach to long-term financial security, having entered the workplace amidst a high cost of living, increased inflation, and economic difficulties following the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Vanguard found that Gen Z employees are saving for retirement 32% more than young workers did in 2006.
In our report, pension needs ranked closely behind work-life balance in terms of importance, with an average score of 7.52. In order to attract and retain Gen Z employees, companies should provide robust, transparent pension benefits.
4. On the Move With Mobility Benefits
Mobility benefits are also essential to Gen Z, scoring an impressive 6.82 out of 10 in the findings from our exclusive report. But mobility benefits aren’t just about getting from point A to B — it’s about giving Gen Z the flexibility to visit their work setting according to their preferences.
Whether it’s access to cars, bicycles, or public transport, Gen Z values the freedom to choose their work environment without an added financial burden. In order to appeal to this desire, companies should consider providing flexible transport benefits or financial compensation for costs related to the daily commute.
5. Mental Wellbeing Recognition and Support
In our survey, the importance of company-supported mental wellbeing, was ranked as 6.79 out of 10. However, this comparatively low score simply reflects that Gen Z does not view mental health as a perk; instead, they see it as a standard offering that all organisations should provide.
In 2023, research by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) revealed that 61% of Gen Z respondents would consider switching jobs if presented with an opportunity that provided an improved focus on mental health. Our research in ‘Navigating Gen Z In The Modern Workplace’ highlighted the fact that Gen Z’s higher degree of social consciousness is the driving force behind their ability to have open conversations surrounding mental wellbeing.
This shift in perspective also emphasises Gen Z’s desire to work for progressive employers who adapt to changes in the labor market, encourage a strong corporate culture, and recognise the importance of sustainability.
The Future Of The Workplace
The key to engaging Gen Z lies in understanding their unique values, expectations and preferences. It’s not just about incentives. Instead, the real task lies in shaping an employee value proposition that recognises Gen Z’s individual aspirations, progressiveness, and the shifting employment landscape.
Are you looking to attract and retain Gen Z employees? Download our exclusive report ‘Zooming in on Gen Z’ and discover how to better engage your employees.