Many companies are working hard to understand, support and attract the newest members of their workforce – Gen Z employees. Like every generation, Gen Z workers have their own set of challenges and unique circumstances. Many of those challenges include unique financial hurdles. Consider these facts:
• People born in the late 90s through the early 2000s are racking up credit card debt faster than previous generations.
• Gen Zs are twice as likely as the general population to lack confidence in their ability to manage money.
• Gen Z college graduates are likely to be grappling with student debt: About 7 million people under the age of 24 owe more than $100 billion, according to the Department of Education’s Q4 2023 report.
• Gen Z workers are more likely to face mental health issues: Nearly half of Gen Zers say they are thriving, according to a report from Gallup and the Walton Family Foundation, the lowest among all generations, and a much lower rate than millennials.
A Fresh Look at Benefits
As a result many HR professionals are reevaluating benefits packages to ensure Gen Z workers’ financial and wellness needs are addressed. Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), with its 110,000 employees, 73 percent of which are Gen Zers, is a leading example.
The restaurant company announced this week the start of several new benefits with a special emphasis on Gen Z.
Partnering with SoFi’s Student Loan Verification Service (SLV) Chipotle will offer a 401(k) match on eligible employees’ student loan payments up to 4% of salary. With this benefit, workers can pay down debt and save for retirement at the same time. In addition, Chipotle is providing its workers with full access to SoFi’s financial wellness tools and educational resources.
The company will also aim to help employees build credit through a high-tech Visa card that offers security features, faster access to paychecks and credit optimization.
And because the link between financial wellness and emotional well-being is becoming increasingly evident, Chipotle will provide a new Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that includes six free sessions with a licensed counselor or mental health coach.
Retaining Gen Z
Benefit professionals are working hard to understand the unique needs and challenges facing their Gen Z workers. Enhanced financial wellness including student loan repayment benefits, customized debt and other financial counseling and mental health resources are all part of a successful strategy to support, attract and retain young workers.
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