Packaging Health Benefits for Your Gen Z Employees

Young employees with hands in.

Packaging Health Benefits for Your Gen Z Employees

At some point in 2024, Generation Z employees are expected to outnumber baby boomers in the workplace. This generational milestone is a good time to review your health benefits and ensure they are ready to reach the next generation.

The first step is identifying the health benefits Gen Z values most. Second is connecting Gen Z to your offerings to increase usage and appreciation.

Health offerings that appeal to Gen Z

Gen Z is generally defined as individuals born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s, according to the human resources association SHRM. They’ve grown up with smartphones, social media, online shopping and other digital tools at their fingertips.

But they’ve also entered their teen and young adult years in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, global conflicts and economic insecurity.

These dual backdrops of instant technology and societal uncertainty inform their desired health benefits. The following three areas can help you meet Gen Z’s most pressing needs:

  • Mental health coverage
  • Virtual primary care
  • Holistic wellness programs

Mental health coverage

Gen Zers want easy access to mental health coverage, resources and services. In addition to affordable insurance, they want employers to provide mental health education and support. According to HR Morning, about 50% of Gen Z employees want:

  • A dedicated therapist or counselor in the workplace
  • Office space designated for mental health processing
  • Mental health workshops

Flexibility and work-life balance are key components of mental health for Gen Z. They are seeking employers offering mental health days and flexible work options. 

Flexible work isn’t one-size-fits-all, reports the news site Axios. This generation has a mix of desires between remote-only, hybrid and in-person workplaces. But they uniformly want the autonomy to choose the hours, schedules and work environments most conducive to their mental well-being.

Virtual primary care

Members of Gen Z are less likely than older generations to have a primary care doctor. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t seeking care. They are, for example, far more likely than other generations to visit urgent care clinics, reports the industry news site BenefitsPRO.

The need for care management is already high. Gen Z adults are experiencing chronic health conditions and other mental and physical health challenges much younger than previous generations. And the easy access to urgent care is appealing. However, overusing urgent care can negatively affect their personal finances and increase unnecessary costs for your organization’s health plan.

Virtual primary care lets you blend Gen Z’s basic care needs with a desire for easy access. It can also increase participation in the health care system by reducing barriers such as cost, scheduling and transportation.

Through digital means, virtual primary care can connect Gen Z employees to:

  • Preventive care
  • Well visits
  • Check-ups for common ailments
  • Medication prescriptions and management
  • Mental health evaluations and resources
  • Specialist referrals

Holistic wellness programs

Gen Zers are drawn to gym memberships, yoga and online fitness classes, notes the recruitment software company HireBee. They appreciate the cost savings and health benefits. But their desire for wellness offerings goes beyond physical health.

In addition to fitness benefits, they’re looking for mental health, financial education and professional development opportunities to improve their overall well-being.

Mental health wellness programs are increasingly incorporating Gen Z-friendly meditation and mindfulness classes and apps. 

And when it comes to financial education, members of Gen Z want reliable resources on debt management, tuition reimbursement, saving and budgeting habits, and retirement readiness.

They also crave continuous learning. Professional development is becoming a more significant part of wellness programming, reports HireBee. Learning management systems can provide access to customized content and upskilling for roles specific to your company. Other options include online education, in-person training and workshops, educational conferences and professional certificates. The mix of online and in-person offerings appeals to various learning styles and preferences.

Mentorships can play an essential role in professional development and well-being. Axios reports 83% of Gen Z employees want mentors as part of their career development, but fewer than 50% have a workplace mentor. SHRM recommends mentorships focus on soft skills Gen Z may lack, such as interpersonal communication, body language and verbal cues.

How to connect Gen Z to your benefits

Your benefits selections are only as good as their usage rates and collective value. To increase utilization, you’ll need to reach Gen Z employees where they are.

Engaging, visually appealing online experiences are essential for connecting with digital natives. This is the generation that uses TikTok to find jobs, share career advice and research employers. They expect a similar experience from their benefits.

Ensure your health plans and vendors offer user-friendly apps for employees to access benefits and ask questions. Promote your offerings through social media, including regular posts and short videos. Find employee champions to be influencers for your health offerings. They can highlight benefits through work conversations, online testimonials and social media updates.

Connect your benefits offerings to diversity, society and the environment to further the impact. For example, when promoting mental health benefits, highlight how affordable access and virtual resources reduce economic inequities. Gen Z employees want a welcoming, inclusive work environment and to feel like they are making a difference in their communities, reports SHRM.

SHRM also notes Gen Zers aren’t afraid to voice their opinions regardless of seniority. Engaging with and listening to this cohort is a valuable aspect of building your benefits package. Use online surveys to evaluate Gen Z’s satisfaction with current offerings and gather suggestions for future benefits.

Expect to find variation within this generation. The oldest members of Gen Z are approaching 30, while the youngest are not yet adults. Their needs will evolve as they experience life changes like health challenges, homeownership, marriage, parenting and caregiving. Regular feedback can ensure your benefits package remains relevant to their needs.

Examine your benefits

For more information on selecting and packaging health benefits for your Gen Z employees, talk to your insurance broker or benefits adviser. They can help you examine mental health, virtual care and wellness benefits to meet Gen Z’s evolving needs.

This content is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing professional, financial, medical or legal advice. You should contact your licensed professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

Coast General Insurance Brokers