Ask around: most people will tell you that something about 2020 made them shift their priorities. Maybe it was about spending more time with family, getting healthier, or finding hobbies besides scrolling social media. One way or another, the collective changes our society have experienced during the pandemic have brought shifts to many individual mindsets.

How have employee priorities changed in this time period? Alight Solutions recently released a study on employee wellbeing priorities. The data they showcase offers a valuable look at how the workforce is evaluating how they spend their time, and what they want from an employer.

2020 Created New Challenges and Struggles

Alight’s survey found that nearly everyone was touched by the pandemic in some way. Nearly 1 in 3 employees spent some time furloughed, including 47% of Gen Z-aged workers. A full quarter worked a side gig or additional job, and of those 71% did so because of the pandemic and its associated consequences. Of these, 43% were Gen Z.

Challenges at home were real. 55% of parents were engaged in remote learning with their children, and 16% cared for adult dependents. There was also the real danger of illness during the pandemic: 29% were diagnosed or tested positive for Covid-19, or had it happen to an immediate family member.

And the workplace still needed them. More than 8 in 10 employees were classified as essential, and 58% are required to report to their normal worksite. Remote work gets the headlines, but only 39% of employees reported working primarily remote.

Employee Wellbeing Priorities

With these challenges, employees are placing wellbeing of themselves and their families higher than ever. This doesn’t just mean keeping one’s health top of mind. Wellbeing includes financial health as well as emotional, physical, and work wellbeing. Employees place high emphasis on priorities such as living on a budget, eating healthy and exercising, balancing work and life commitments, reducing stress, building retirement savings and investments, and their relationships.

Breaking It Down By Generation

How do your company benefits fare when a member of Gen Z judges them? What about Millennials? To attract and keep the best talent of these emerging and established titans of the workforce, pay attention to what they say matters.

Gen Z — individuals born in 1996 or later according to the Pew Research Center — are just beginning their journeys in the workforce. They’re prioritizing themselves first: reducing stress, eating healthy, and balancing work and life. But fourth on the list of priorities is gaining new skills or advancing their careers.

Millennials show more interest in their personal and relationship health — budgeting, stress management, exercise and healthy living, and building relationships are all higher on the list than their career.

Gen X adds on some new priorities: retirement income, investments, and emergency funds.

And Boomers focus heavily on retirement, budging, balancing work/life, staying healthy, and getting medical screenings or condition management.

Satisfying Employee Wellbeing Priorities

Workplace benefits are expected to do more heavy lifting than ever before. Managing the needs, expectations, and priorities of a diverse workforce means that your company may need to address not just physical healthcare, but also financial assistance, paid time off and leave, mental health and stress management, caregiving benefits, flexible work hours, and fitness management services.

It can be challenging to organize and administer all of these programs, although the recruitment and retainment advantages that a comprehensive benefits program offers can’t be overstated. Traditional benefits aren’t cutting it for Gen Z in particular. 60% of Gen Z workers say they’re unsatisfied with their company’s current benefits. As this generation stands poised to overtake the workforce, is your company prepared to meet their needs?

If benefits administration is a barrier to expanded offerings, Web Benefits Design can help. Explore what we do and learn more about the ways our benefits administration platform can simplify, streamline, and supercharge your benefits. Click here to learn more.

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