NEW YEAR, NEW BENEFITS EXPERIENCE: LESSONS FROM GEN Z ON ENGAGING A MULTI-GENERATIONAL WORKFORCE
As Gen Z’s foothold in the workforce grows, employers can provide a year-round benefits experience that resonates with the youngest in the workforce and beyond
NEW YORK, January 11, 2024
To meet the evolving needs of today's increasingly multidimensional workforce, providing a personalized, always-on benefits strategy is key to keeping employees satisfied, engaged, and loyal. Setting the tone for this new standard of benefits engagement is Generation Z – who, according to MetLife's 2023 Employee Benefit Trends Study, are more likely to expect a tailored, year-round benefits experience than other employees. Sixty-eight percent of Gen Z employees want their employer to communicate with them after they have enrolled in benefits, not just during annual enrollment, the study found.1
With the number of Gen Z employees in the workforce expected to surpass that of baby boomers in early 2024, employers will need to reevaluate their benefits strategies with an eye toward Gen Z’s expectations. MetLife’s study found that half of today’s Gen Z employees say most of the benefits communications they receive don’t feel relevant to them, and 63% wish their employers offered more personalized recommendations.2 This comes as Gen Z workers are also least likely to say that their benefits meet their evolving needs throughout their lives.
“As employers across the U.S. plan their benefits strategies for the year, it’s vital for them to recognize the unique preferences of each generation,” said Jamie Madden, Senior Vice President of Workforce Engagement and Benefits Connectivity at MetLife. “Gen Z, in particular, is setting the stage for what a positive employee experience looks like, and by keeping their standards top of mind, employers can better serve the needs of their entire workforce.”
Meeting Multi-Generational Needs, Year-Round
While more vocal about their needs, Gen Z isn’t the only cohort looking for a customized and comprehensive benefits experience. MetLife’s research found employees across all age groups are experiencing unique challenges that they want their employers to address—54% of all employees wish they had personalized benefit recommendations and 65% want their employer to communicate with them about their benefits throughout the year, not just during enrollment.2
While information at open enrollment sets the stage for initial awareness, increasing benefits communication year-round can improve employee understanding – and there are modern tools employers can leverage to enable this; for example, MetLife recently announced its collaboration with Nayya to enhance employees’ benefits experience at open enrollment and beyond. Solutions like this, that provide educational guidance and always-on engagement, help employees get the most value out of their benefits by choosing and using those most relevant to their individual needs – particularly as each generation approaches different life milestones.
For example, millennials navigating parenthood for the first time may be seeking opportunities to learn about childcare or fertility benefits, while Gen X employees stepping into the role of ‘caretaker’ for aging parents may be looking for benefits that can help them care for their loved ones in need of eldercare.
Achieving Business Objectives Through Benefits Engagement and Utilization
For employers, approaching benefits strategies with a focus on continuous education and increased utilization throughout the year offers a return on investment – beyond yielding a more satisfied workforce, MetLife data shows this would make one in two employees feel more cared for.2
“Employee care has a tangible impact on employee wellbeing, happiness, and overall satisfaction, and, ultimately, organizational performance. Thus, as the workforce evolves, so too must the way employers engage and demonstrate care for their employees,” Madden continued. “Delivering timely, approachable communication and resources is critical to ensuring each generation in today’s workforce understands how to elect and use the benefits that are right for them year-round.”
To learn more about tailored benefits experiences and access additional resources, reach out to MetLife or visit https://metlife.com/workforce-insights/boosting-benefits-understanding-and-use/.