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Brokers: Tailoring Benefits to Match What Gen Z Wants

Quick look: Gen Z workers have different priorities than workers from previous generations. Wellness, nutrition, mental health, and convenience are of the utmost importance for these employees. As a broker, you can help your small- and medium-sized business (SMB) clients create tailored packages to stand out from the competition and keep this younger generation satisfied.

Gen Z workers (born roughly between 1998 and 2006) are more health- and wellness conscious than their Millennial and Gen X peers. Their work habits, after-work activities, and desires for personal well-being influence which benefits matter most to them. Employers today must develop benefits packages that resonate with the incoming workforce or risk losing these employees to competitors. As a broker, you can guide your small- and medium-sized business (SMB) clients toward rethinking their benefits packages to align with what Gen Z workers want.

If your clients are not ready to respond to what today’s employees want—especially younger workers—they risk falling further behind in the War for Talent. Here’s what’s important to this generation and how you can help your clients tailor their benefits plans to match.

Be sure to cover the basics

According to Metlife’s 2022 Employee Benefit Trends report, health-related benefits are essential to Gen Z, including health insurance, dental insurance, and vision coverage. These must be the foundation of any successful benefits plan.

In addition, here are the other benefits rounding out the top eight, along with the percentage of Gen Zers considering this benefit a “must-have”:

  • 401k plan – 77%
  • Paid leave – 70%
  • Financial wellness resources – 50%
  • Legal services – 48%
  • Accident insurance – 48%

Consult your SMB clients to determine if their benefits packages have robust, comprehensive health plans, retirement planning, financial wellness resources, paid leave, and other ancillary insurance coverages. If not, it’s time for a change.

Some SMB employers may lack sufficient resources to contribute to such a wide swath of coverages. Partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO) is a great option. PEOs enable smaller employers to offer Fortune-500-level benefit plans at rates they would be unable to achieve independently. Look for a PEO with a broker-centric business model like ExtensisHR who will not infringe on your hard-earned client relationships.

They’re keeping track of their fitness

Working out is important to Gen Z, with some reports citing that close to 90% of Gen Zers exercise at least three times per week. However, many skip the gym and prefer to work out on their own. With the help of fitness trackers, smartwatches, apps, and boosts from social media challenges, Gen Zers are apt to track their fitness and share their progress online.

Your SMB clients may want to offer their employees free fitness tracking devices or free group memberships to fitness apps to encourage their staff to prioritize a healthy, active lifestyle.

Mental health matters

Gen Zers have a deep awareness of stress and the factors that stoke their anxieties. Per the Unwinder, more than half of Gen Zers say they have some type of mental health issue. Gone is the stigma surrounding mental health services that may have been an issue for older generations, as close to 70% of Gen Z respondents state that they participate in therapy. Gen Z is not only open to therapy; they are actively seeking it out.

Evaluate your SMB clients’ health plans, looking specifically for mental health coverage. If their current plans have no mental health coverage in place, help them find a policy that does. Once again, partnering with a PEO may be the answer. Switching to a co-employment model enables your client to come under the PEO’s umbrella health plan, allowing them to offer comprehensive medical benefits—including mental health services—for the same price as (or possibly less than) they were paying under an individual plan.

Nutrition awareness

Gen Z pays attention to what they put into their bodies and the origins of their food. Organic food, gluten-free options, vegetarianism, and veganism are on the rise. Encourage your clients to rethink their benefits packages by offering ways for their staff to eat healthier. Ideas include providing company-sponsored lunches from fresh local restaurants or monthly food stipends to via gift cards to health food stores. These small things this show employees their wellness matters and their employers are looking out for their long-term health.

Gen Zers value convenience

This generation is accustomed to getting whatever they want, whenever they want it. From the ability to access information online in a split second to next-day delivery and free returns for online purchases, Gen Zers have a low tolerance for waiting. Technology makes things easier and faster—and Gen Z expects this level of convenience at home and work.

As a broker, think about how you can help this generation (and your clients’ entire workforces) access information and take action more easily. You may offer benefits education in new formats like short, easily digestible video content or open a communications channel with staff via text message or a private social media channel. Help your SMB clients select health insurance providers whose healthcare professionals offer telehealth, online appointment scheduling, and easy-to-use patient portals.

PEO companies also unlock a new level of convenience for employees through high-tech, self-serve tools. Companies like ExtensisHR have sophisticated HRIS systems that allow employees to request and track paid time off (PTO), sign up for insurance, and learn about other key benefits. Working with a PEO is a shortcut to greater convenience that supports both employees and the company’s HR department.

Help employers think differently

Not every Gen Zer will respond to every element of an employer’s benefits packages, and many older employees will resonate with these new offerings. More than anything, it’s important to remind your SMB clients that one-size-fits-all benefits packages are destined to come up short. Instead, use your role as a broker to assist your clients in developing tailored packages that fit what the people in their workplace really want.

Protect your book of business by helping your clients offer more attractive benefits. Contact ExtensisHR today to find out why a PEO partnership may be the solution.

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