Gen Z is now the largest group entering the workforce, and their health care desires differ from previous generations. For perspective, there are approximately 65 million American Gen Zers, those born between 1997 and 2012. By 2030, they will account for 30% of the workforce.
As this generation begins their careers, employers should be aware of their health care expectations. A recent study revealed Gen Z habits, wants, and needs, which include:
- In-person visits with physicians. Despite being raised in the time of smartphones and social media, 62% of survey respondents reported a preference for in-person primary care while only 29% sought out telehealth capabilities. It is important to note that while Gen Z prefers in-person care, they do want online tools to enhance the overall healthcare experience. Access to physicians through phone calls, texts, and a user-friendly website ranked notably amongst their needs.
- Mental health. The most desired workplace benefit, after a 401(k), is mental health care. The benefit would be advantageous to Gen Z workers as the majority of respondents reported managing a behavioral health condition and having anxiety or depression. Additionally, just under half stated they attend therapy, either occasionally or daily. Unlike previous generations, Gen Z has broken away from mental health-related stigmas and is comfortable speaking about their needs.
- Social media as a source of information. Gen Z does their research when it comes to healthcare and mental health, citing social media as an influence that helps to inform their decisions. They use the internet, social media, apps, etc. to stay informed. When they choose a healthcare provider, it is after thorough research. In addition to valuing a healthcare provider, Gen Z believes in a more well-rounded approach to wellness. Around 37% of survey respondents utilize either a nutritionist or a health coach. They believe sleep, exercise, and stress management have the biggest impact on their health.
- Cultural competency. 20% of Gen Zers identify as LGBTQIA, and about half of Gen Z is comprised of racial or ethnic minorities. Gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation are important to many Gen Zer identities, so respect and equality in relation to these categories is imperative.
As the Gen Z workforce continues to grow, employers will want to alter their benefits offerings to cater to these needs over time.