The Power of Educating Gen Z Individuals Entering the Workforce on Healthcare Plans and How to do it
Originally published in Sugarmint October 10, 2023
Generation Z, also known as Gen Z, makes up one third of the world population. The eldest members of this generation are just entering the workforce, leaving employers with a new group to demystify and attract.
This generation’s members were born in 1995 or later. They’ve grown up in radically different circumstances than other generations, especially with the recent changes in the labor market, and became discerning and competitive. If you want to attract top talent, you need to not only offer employee benefits, but educate your Gen Z employees on why they matter.
The value of educating Gen Z on healthcare benefits
Just when employers figured out what makes millennials tick, Gen Z entered the workforce and added more challenges. These digital natives differ from millennials in that they grew up with technology as part of their daily lives from a young age. They have information at their fingertips, so they’re quick to research and compare options before making a decision.
In addition, this generation lacks some practical knowledge of how benefits work in a real-world context. Many of them have been on their parents’ healthcare plans, so copays, deductibles, and premiums may be entirely new concepts.
As an employer, you can provide value to your Gen Z employees with benefits education and reap the rewards, including:
Improved job satisfaction
If you’re offering competitive benefits to differentiate your brand, it won’t make much difference if a Gen Z candidate doesn’t understand what makes it so valuable. These candidates want to know that their employers are invested in their wellbeing and growth – both personal and professional.
If you offer customized benefits and help your employees understand what they gain from them, they’re more likely to feel satisfied with their position.
Benefits education is an investment in your employees’ future. By showing your employees the true value of your benefits offerings, you can show them that you care about their future. In turn, your employees will feel more loyal to your company and less likely to seek out other opportunities.
As mentioned, Gen Z employees are tech- and research-savvy. They will look for information to make better decisions, including decisions about their job prospects and benefits. With benefits education, you’re delivering knowledge to your Gen Z workforce to help them make more informed decisions and ensure that they’re using benefits to their fullest.
Engagement is an important part of employee productivity. Part of keeping your employees engaged is showing them that they’re valued and supported. Benefits education that’s targeted to the specific needs and preferences of the Gen Z workforce will make them more engaged in the process, and by extension, in their roles.
How to educate Gen Z on healthcare benefits
Healthcare benefits are among the most complex benefits offerings, as well as the most impactful and expensive. Your Gen Z employees need to be educated on their benefits during the onboarding process to ensure they understand their options.
Be sure to go over each aspect of the healthcare plans and their value. Including this process during onboarding not only helps your employee make the best decision for their needs, which will go into effect for a long period, but sets the stage for future educational opportunities.
Seminars, workshops, and other training opportunities regarding healthcare benefits can help your employees understand what options are available to them. You may want to consider healthcare benefits specialists, HR professionals, or other experts that can host short sessions with employees. Include time for them to discuss their concerns, ask questions, and learn in a way that’s comfortable for them.
Some situations are too complex or intimate to discuss in an open format. One-on-one sessions between Gen Z employees and HR professionals gives your employees a safe space to address their unique situations in a private setting and get customized advice.
Gen Z employees are confident with online tools and digital resources, which you can include in your benefits education strategy. A benefits technology platform or HR technology platform that includes self-paced learning and interactive elements like instructional videos helps your employees gain an understanding on their own, whenever and wherever they choose, and fosters a more engaging experience.
Attract and retain Gen Z with benefits education
Benefits education is an important part of your recruitment and retention strategy, especially with Gen Z employees. It’s not enough to offer benefits – you have to ensure that your employees know the value you’re providing and feel empowered to make the most of their benefits packages.