Study says Gen Z prefers financial stability over career growth
Perhaps we’ve all been there—fresh-faced and full of dreams, stepping into the workforce with a resolve to climb the corporate ladder. We even vowed to “make a difference” and “change the world.” But in an era where financial stability is elusive, it seems that Gen Z has had enough of idealism.
They’ve swapped out the rose-tinted glasses for a more pragmatic pair, and The Standard’s (a financial product and services firm) recent survey among Gen Z employees can prove this.
Stability comes first, growth can wait
Times have changed, and so have the priorities of young Americans. While they once believed in following their passion and chasing lofty career goals, the harsh reality of adulthood has made them shift their focus on securing stable income streams instead.
According to the report, around 29 percent of the 1,250 respondents (who are full-time workers aged 18 to 26) rated their financial condition as “good or excellent,” while 27 percent admitted to being in “poor or terrible financial shape.”
This almost-even split highlights the potentially unaddressed—undervalued at best—financial struggles Gen Z employees face. “They’ve been hit hard by inflation and the high cost of health care,” wrote The Standard. “[They’re also] worried about saving for their long-term future.”
Top employee benefits (Gen Z’s version)
Beyond fair salary compensation, young Americans are looking for specific benefits that would ease their financial burdens and provide a safety net in today’s uncertain economic climate.
Health or medical insurance leads the pack, followed (respectively) by paid family and medical leave, retirement savings plans, and life insurance. Tied in fifth place are emergency savings accounts and mental health days.
“You may think you pay employees well,” said one respondent. “But keep in mind most people are living paycheck to paycheck, and any sort of benefits helps.”
In support, the report stated that Gen Z wishes their employers to be more involved with their preparation for the future—whether it be through benefits and/or help with financial literacy.
What does this mean for employers, then?
Well, the message is clear: adapt or risk losing talent. If employers want to attract and retain top Gen Z workers, they need to acknowledge the shifting priorities of Gen Z workers and how they’re increasingly willing to jump ship for better opportunities—be it higher pay or improved benefits packages.
To meet these expectations, the report suggests a three-pronged approach: target financial “pain points” left unaddressed by other institutions, focus on employee resource groups, and educate Gen Z on disability insurance.