Employee Benefits

3 Ways Benefits Keep Millennials and Generation Z Employees Engaged

Woman using a smartphone.

Employers in every industry know that competition is intense for talented millennials and Generation Z employees. Younger workers are always looking for new opportunities that fit their life and career goals. So employers need to get creative to attract and retain this dynamic group. While you’re coming up with new challenges to keep these younger workers on their toes, offer the benefits that help them meet their goals. Here are three ways that offering the right benefits can keep millennials and Gen Z employees engaged at work.

Build loyalty

Let’s face it, the idea of a new job sounds exciting. But adjusting to a new employer can be stressful. Millennials and Generation Z workers say that the right benefits can keep them on the job. Three-fourths of younger employees say that having flexible benefits increases loyalty to their employer.

Millennials and Generation Z workers say they want benefits they can customize. At the top of their list of preferred benefits is medical insurance, but they also want dental, orthodontia, vision and LASIK choices. In addition, they want benefits that help with financial well-being, critical health care and pet care. Employers who pay attention to employee needs make a difference in their workers’ lives and develop long-lasting relationships.

Ease stress and worries

Research shows that employees spend three or more hours each week at work dealing with personal finance issues. Many have student loans and make monthly payments of nearly $350. They use the rest of their salary to cover basic living expenses and family needs. There is little money left over for unexpected expenses or savings for vacation or retirement.

Seven out of 10 new college graduates each owe $37,000 or more. Many employees ages 40 to 65 also have student loan debts for professional education or their kids’ college tuition costs. About 65% of employees with student loan debts work a second job to cover expenses.

One way employers can relieve employees’ financial stress is to assist them in paying off their student loans. Annually, employees leave $24 billion in employer 401(k) matching funds on the table. Employers can offer a student loan repayment benefit that gives employees an option to use some of their 401(k) matching funds for student loan payments. They can invest the remaining amount in a retirement account. It’s a great idea since only 66% of American adults are saving for retirement.

Stay in sync

Employees appreciate the benefits employers provide, but most say they are confused about their plan choices. A Harris Poll found that only 33% of employees pay attention to the benefits materials employers provide. And they don’t use benefits they don’t understand.

Employers who understand their employees and how they communicate are better equipped to help employees understand and use their benefits. For example, millennials and Generation Z employees are turned off by pictures and videos that look staged and unrealistic. This audience is more likely to relate to benefits communications that look authentic.

Develop a strategic plan to share benefits information throughout the year. Use a variety of communication tools that meet employees where they are, like social media and texting. Yes, creating a plan like this takes time, but the rewards far outweigh the investment.

Finding and keeping talented millennials and Generation Z employees is challenging. Offering the right benefits can give them a reason to stay at work and keep them engaged.

Discover more tips on using benefits to keep millennials and Gen Z workers on the job by downloading this whitepaper.

Leave a comment