3 Ways Gen Z Employees are Transforming the Workforce

Aug 01, 2022

Move over Millennials, Gen X and Boomers, there’s a new kid on the block. Generation Z is here and preparing to completely revolutionize the workforce. Born between 1995 and the early 2010s, there are more than 60 million Gen Zers in the U.S. alone, and they take their values seriously. From the food they eat to the gyms they join, everything they do revolves around the behaviors and beliefs that make up their personal brand. Gen Z employees are changing society wherever they go – and according to MetLife’s 17th annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study (EBTS) – this includes the workplace. 

The oldest members of the group are just finishing college and starting their careers. In 2020, Gen Z will already account for an estimated 20 percent of the workforce. So how can employers attract and develop the best and the brightest of this newest generation? Here are 3 of the key principles that matter most to Gen Z employees:

  1. Purposeful work: Gen Zers want to align who they are with what they do. Viewing work as an extension of themselves, they want employers who share and reflect their core values. In fact, 66 percent of Gen Z employees polled in the survey believe that work defines who they are, and more than half reported that work with a purpose is a “must-have”.

    Purpose provides employees with a sense of fulfillment and growth, making work less about a paycheck and more about making an impact on society. Additionally, employees want their companies to offer programs that reflect their values and interests, such as diversity and inclusion programs and international assignments.
  2. Work-life harmony: The ability to work anywhere and anytime combined with the emergence of the gig economy has blurred the boundary between work and life, especially for Gen Z employees.

Employers known for recognizing work-life balance is an absolute must

50% Gen Z
37% General population

Having grown up with smartphones in hand, Generation Z is more digitally connected than any prior age group. They embrace technology and expect the ability to quickly and easily access information around the clock. This means that, in addition to more traditional communication channels, Gen Z employees look to mobile-friendly apps and social media as their primary means to learn essential information, including employee benefits.

3. Non-traditional benefits: Gen Zers want flexibility with their benefits as well. Specifically, they are looking for benefits that extend beyond conventional medical, dental and disability coverages – even if that means covering some of the costs themselves. According to the survey, 57 percent of Gen Zers feel they would be more successful in both work and life if they had access to more progressive benefits.

These additional benefits could address both short and long-term worries related not only to work, but also to health and family, such as unlimited paid time off, financial wellness programs, and accident or critical illness insurance. 

As the first contingent of Generation Z enters the workforce, not only must employers rethink the experiences they are creating for employees inside the workplace, but also how they are supporting them outside of the office. To ensure both their organizations and employees thrive, employers should look for opportunities to provide purposeful work, support work-life harmony and offer benefits that can help their employees succeed.