About Us Global insights 5 work perks and practices that matter to Gen Z

5 work perks and practices that matter to Gen Z

Is your organizational culture fit for Gen Z? Discover what they want at work and what you can do to keep up.

Young employees having a desk-side meeting.
4 min read |

The youngest generation in the workforce is primed to revamp the workplace. Think: shifting work perks and culture, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

To be clear, age isn’t the driving force. Young people naturally have unique priorities, but Gen Z’s values also tend to reflect larger societal shifts. Many organizations already know it: According to recent research from Principal®, 41% of employers say they expect Gen Z’s differing expectations to upend traditional workplace benefits by 2030.1

Attracting, retaining, and connecting with this up-and-coming talent—now and in the future—means growing with them. Explore five areas where they’re instigating change and what you can do to keep up.

Infographic showing that 41% of employers expect Gen Z to upend traditional workplace benefits.

of employers expect Gen Z to upend traditional workplace benefits.1

Sustainable, socially responsible practices

From social media activism to grassroots movements and major political stages, Gen Z tends to be vocal and passionate about sustainability and social responsibility. They hold organizations accountable for their actions—and in many cases expect their employers to do good, too.

Infographic showing 74% of Gen Z employees say it’s important for them to work at a company that’s policies and practices align with their personal beliefs.

of Gen Z employees say it’s important for them to work at an organization with policies and practices that align with their personal beliefs.1

Making changes for the sake of resonating can’t be the goal. But if you authentically believe it’s the right thing to do, seeking ways to prioritize sustainable practices and social responsibility is a win-win. Ideas include:

  • Adopt renewable energy sources
  • Reduce waste
  • Seek diverse sourcing options
  • Support or partner with local charitable organizations
  • Provide opportunities for employee community involvement and paid volunteer time off

Personal well-being and flexibility

Another area Gen Z’s pushing for progress? Personal well-being. Gen Z advocates for destigmatizing mental health and is vocal about maintaining balanced lifestyles. They tend to seek resources and flexibility from their employers.

Gen Zers report they struggle
with mental well-being

2x more
than other generations.3

On a human level, it makes sense to respect and support employees’ personal needs. It may also benefit your bottom line: 36% of young employees say mental health impacts their productivity and performance.4 Organizations are increasingly adding benefits to help.Can you:

  • Offer employee assistance programs
  • Ensure health insurance policies cover mental health
  • Provide flexible work schedules
  • Promote holistic wellness programs

Employee perks for financial well-being

Coming of age in a time of economic uncertainty and steep costs of living, Gen Z faces unique financial challenges. Many are burdened with debt. Many lack financial literacy skills.

Gen Zers report they struggle with
their overall financial situation

70% more
than other generations.3

While you directly impact your employees’ financial situations through compensation, explore broader ways you can support them, too.

  • Auto-enroll employees in a robust retirement plan with employer-match incentives
  • Provide personalized financial planning resources
  • Assist with student debt payoff Offer an emergency savings program
  • Subsidize common expenses like caregiving or continuing education

Inclusive workplace culture

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies are not new or trendy. But Gen Z does tend to put more importance on them than older generations.2 Many have grown up publicly advocating for inclusion, making equal opportunities and representation in the workplace table stakes.

Infographic showing 74% of Gen Z employees say it’s important for them to work at a company that prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion.

of Gen Z employees say it’s important for them to work at a company that prioritizes DEI.2

Promoting DEI throughout your organization means ensuring not just salaries but also opportunities and promotion tracks are equitable; prioritizing diverse talent at all levels; and outfitting your workplace and training leaders to help all employees feel physically, emotionally, and professionally supported. It may also extend to your employee benefits.

  • Survey employees on your company culture to establish a benchmark
  • Formalize a diversity, equity, and inclusion policy
  • Create employee resource groups
  • Ensure all benefits support diverse individuals and family structures such as gender-neutral parental leave

Technological integration

Nicknamed “Zoomers” for a reason, this is a generation of digital natives: generally proficient with tech and eager to leverage it for efficiency, productivity, and creativity.

Infographic showing 56% of companies invest at least a third of their expendable income on technology.

of companies invest at least a third of their expendable income on technology.5

Are your ways of working up to date? Explore opportunities for advancing internal communications, streamlining processes, or even modernizing employee benefits.

  • Invest in a team focused on innovation
  • Ask team members what tech would improve their work lives
  • Explore ways to use new generative AI products
  • Offer digital versions of common work perks, like telehealth services or digital financial wellness programs

Gen Z has already had an impact on society as a whole. As they continue to age into the workforce, it’ll only become more essential for organizations to progress accordingly. Attracting and retaining incoming talent—and positioning you for for long-term success—may depend on it.

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