Generation Z, or Gen Z, has been top of mind for employers over the past few years, and with good reason. Their entrance into the workforce signals a pivotal shift in the benefits landscape. Not content with benefits as usual, Gen Z wants their employers to offer comprehensive support that allows them to succeed at work and at home.

They’re not just looking for more vacation time or free lunches—nearly half of Gen Z employees report that the reproductive health benefits offered by their employers influence their decision to stay at their job.

To successfully attract, engage, and retain Gen Z employees, companies must tailor their total rewards strategies to meet this generation's unique needs, values, and workplace expectations. Here's what HR and benefits leaders need to know about building benefits for these younger generations.

Understanding Gen Z employees: What they look for in job benefits

Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z is the newest generation of adults, with over a third of the workforce identifying as part of this generation. They bring a unique set of values and priorities that shape their expectations from employers. Unlike previous generations, Gen Z have grown up in a world of rapid technological advancement and social media influence, bringing a level of technological adeptness beyond being "digital natives."

COVID-19 deeply shaped this generation, with many graduating college and entering the workforce in the height of the pandemic. The first years of their career may have seen fully remote onboarding and work, as well as layoffs and a stiff hiring market. Due to this tumult, they may prioritize work-life balance, remote work, comprehensive benefits, and flexible leave as top priorities.

If companies don't prioritize the right kind of benefits and support, Gen Z employees may be more likely to search for new roles than other generations before them. A recent Maven report found that 50% of Gen Z have left or considered leaving a job because the company didn't offer adequate reproductive health benefits, compared to 35% of millennials and 16% of Gen X.

To minimize attrition, employers need to give Gen Z talent a reason to stay. These young workers want more from their employers — especially when they're looking at benefits that support health and family planning. 

Maven’s State of Women’s and Family Health Benefits 2024

How fertility, maternal health, and Gen Z are transforming benefits decisions.

Download report
Maven’s State of Women’s and Family Health Benefits 2024

The top benefits Gen Z workers wants from their employer

As employers strive to attract Gen Z talent, understanding the benefits this cohort values most is crucial. This generation seeks more than just a paycheck or basic health insurance; they're after a suite of benefits that align with their lifestyle and aspirations. Here are the top benefits that Gen Z workers are looking for from their employers.

Holistic reproductive health and wellbeing support

The older cohort of Gen Z employees are now reaching the age where they're beginning to think about starting and raising a family, and their health as they're trying to conceive. Gen Z takes a more holistic view of their health compared to previous generations, meaning that they're looking for comprehensive clinical, emotional, and financial support along their reproductive health journeys.

According to a recent Maven report, Gen Z says that the most important women's and family benefits are:

  • Mental health support
  • More paid parental leave than is legally required
  • Support for preparing to have a family
  • Maternity support during pregnancy and postpartum
  • Childcare support

Mental health care

Studies show that Gen Z workers have more mental health needs when compared to older generations, with over 75% saying that they struggle with anxiety or depression. Given these numbers, it's no surprise that mental health benefits rank as a top priority for Gen Z employees.

Employers that prioritize mental health care in their benefits — offering services like counseling, mental health days, and virtual mental health resources — are more likely to attract and retain Gen Z talent.

Generally, Gen Z workers grew up in an environment— facilitated by social media— where mental health is openly discussed, with less stigma. Employers should aim to foster a workplace that encourages open dialogue around mental health, creating a space where Gen Z employees can feel valued and understood.

By integrating mental wellness into the core of their work environment and employee benefits package, employers can signal their commitment to the wellbeing of all employees, building a resilient and engaged workforce.

Flexibility and work-life balance

Gen Z's approach to work is characterized by a strong emphasis on a healthy work-life balance— a recent survey found that 77% of Gen Z job applicants consider balance crucial when considering job opportunities. They favor roles that allow them to blend work with their personal interests and responsibilities, preferring employers who offer flexible work arrangements such as remote work, flexible scheduling, four day work weeks, and adequate time off.

Gen Z’s openness around mental health extends to their approach to work-life balance, and many will advocate for a culture where personal time and mental wellbeing are respected. Employers that offer and promote a balance between professional and personal time are likely to see higher retention rates among Gen Z, with surveys showing that companies with good work-life balance see 25% less turnover.

Professional development and career growth

Gen Z in the workplace is redefining what professional development opportunities should look like. This demographic is not just looking for jobs; they are seeking careers that promise growth, where they can make a positive impact. These younger workers prioritize these opportunities, with over three-quarters saying that they would like more opportunities to learn or practice new skills.

Employers that cater to the needs of Gen Z job seekers stand out by offering mentorship programs, upskilling courses, and clear paths for advancement within the company. By actively promoting professional development opportunities, companies can position themselves as desirable places to work for Gen Z, who are interested in maximizing their potential and making significant impacts early in their careers.

Designing women's and family health benefits to support Gen Z employees

Gen Z aren't just looking for basic benefits — they want a comprehensive benefits ecosystem that addresses their clinical, emotional, and financial health. As Gen Z employees begin thinking about starting and raising families, holistic benefits could be the difference between an employee staying at a company and searching for a new job. Here's how you can stand out to the next generations of talent. 

1. Address the diverse needs of your team

For younger generations, it's important to see themselves reflected across their healthcare experience in the diversity of providers, services, and conditions treated. Social determinants of health are an important consideration for supporting Gen Z, who are more racially diverse than older generations. Especially during preconception, fertility, pregnancy, and childrearing, younger parents want benefits that consider their identities and cultures. 

Diversity for younger generations isn't just about race. The term encompasses the intersectional social determinants of health such as gender, sexuality, socio-economic status, and access to education.

Understanding that barriers to good healthcare vary for different groups is essential — for example, some rural families must travel hours for care because of a lack of obstetric units. To mitigate these factors, your company can offer holistic healthcare that include virtual options to empower your team to access care in the ways that work for them.

2. Make benefits personalized and purposeful

Gen Z are used to having much of their lives tailored to their individual needs. As these generations become parents, they expect personalization to be integrated into their benefits. And employers are taking note — a recent survey from Wilson Towers Watson finds that 69% of employers plan to differentiate and customize their benefits to compete in the tight race for talent. 

This commitment to customization pays off, as the majority of employees report that having personalized benefits to meet their specific health and well-being needs would increase their loyalty to their employers.

To drive impact, education must be a key part of the conversation around customizable benefits in your organization. From new hire onboarding to company-wide meetings and regular email communication about benefits, creating an open dialogue where people can give feedback will help empower your employees to use these benefits to their full potential. 

3. Provide clinically vetted information that's easy to access and use‍

Gen Z patients will search their symptoms online before seeing a doctor. In the digital age, an overwhelming amount of information from friends, family, social media and blogs can feel inextricably linked to the family-building journey. The growing cohort of Gen Z parents often turn to social media for advice, with over half of Gen Z saying that their healthcare decisions have been impacted by social media. In a survey by Time, 58% of Gen Z found the information available to them online somewhat, very, or extremely overwhelming — and it's also not necessarily correct.

Maven commissioned a survey of pregnant people to explore the most influential factors guiding vaccine decision-making and found that 61% of pregnant people were unaware that the CDC recommends vaccines during pregnancy due to misinformation from various sources.

It's essential to make sure the healthcare advice your team is receiving online is accurate and medically sound. Providing easy access to clinically-moderated forums and vetted resources is important to supporting digital natives as they navigate their journey. 

How Maven can help you support Gen Z employees

Maven is a women's and family healthcare company, providing 24/7 clinical, emotional, and financial support all in one place. We know the pathways to parenthood are as diverse as the workforce — and as the generations in the workforce change, we change with them. Maven can work with employers to personalize care for their dynamic team to ensure that Gen Z workers have access to on-demand comprehensive care along their reproductive health journeys. We've built an intersectional approach to diversity into our care model, with a provider network that looks like the range of patients we serve — 40% of our providers identifying as BIPOC and 8% as LGBTQIA+. Maven makes it possible for your business to attract and support current and future generations of talent. 

Interested in learning more about what Maven can do for you? Let's chat. 

Ready to get started with Maven?

See how Maven can support working families, retain talent, and reduce costs

Get started
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
maven employer benefits illustration

Activate your Maven account today

Maven members have unlimited access to 24/7 care and 30+ types of providers. Check to see if you have access to Maven providers and resources today.

Explore Maven