Gen Z, the first generation to grow up entirely in the digital age, has an inherent familiarity with technology. They've had smartphones, tablets, and social media at their fingertips from an early age, shaping their expectations for how they interact with the world, including the workplace. Unlike previous generations, most of whom experienced a pre-COVID-19 work environment, Gen Z has unique implications for organizations as they onboard and support these new entrants.
A recent study indicates that only half of Gen Z employees believe that their company's employee benefits applications match the quality and user experience of consumer apps they use outside of work. However, improving the technology experience is not just for Gen Z; it benefits employees of all generations. As Gen Z enters the workforce, they seek organizations that embrace technology in everyday processes, from workplace messaging systems to employer-sponsored benefits apps. To attract and retain Gen Z talent, companies must provide information in a way that's accessible and convenient for employees.
Addressing Mental Health and Well-being
Work-life balance is a top priority for Gen Z, with 45% of them considering it an important contributor to good mental health. Importantly, it's not just Gen Z; employees across generations value work-life balance as crucial for their well-being. The rise of remote work during the pandemic has blurred the lines between work and personal life, making it even more important to address mental health concerns.
A 2023 Mindset Study reveals that 15% of employees are currently experiencing burnout, a significant increase since 2020. Employees increasingly expect employers to prioritize their emotional well-being by providing resources like mental health days and access to support programs and professionals. Here, technology and artificial intelligence (AI) can play a pivotal role by automating routine tasks and freeing up time for more meaningful, human-centric work. Gen Z, being digital natives, is more likely to embrace digital wellness apps and mental health programs, making technology a critical enabler in providing mental health support.
The Path Forward: Embracing Innovation
The rise of Gen Z presents a tremendous opportunity for companies to evolve their employee experience. By 2030, there is expected to be a global human talent shortage of over 85 million people, making it imperative for organizations to adapt to the changing needs and expectations of the workforce. The key lies in creating customizable benefits and user-friendly programs that cater to the diverse needs of employees and their families.
Whether employees graduated in 2023 or 1973, the message is clear: businesses need to meet employees where they are in life. By doing so, organizations can foster a workforce that is not only productive but also happy, healthy, and engaged. The digital revolution ushered in by Gen Z is a force to be reckoned with, and those who embrace it will undoubtedly reap the benefits in terms of retention and their bottom line. As we navigate this changing landscape, one thing is certain: the future of work is digital, and Gen Z is leading the way.