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9 Key Wellness Initiatives that Work Best to Attract and Engage Gen Zers

6 min read
Last Updated on 30 November, 2023

As Generation Z (Gen Z) enters the workforce, they will comprise up to 27% of the global workforce by 2025. Their approach to work and career redefines traditional notions of professional fulfillment, engagement, and well-being.

We live in times with many disruptions and stress factors like

  • the global pandemic
  • economic uncertainty
  • the rise of automation that has affected employees' morale

Organizations worldwide now understand the value of well-being programs. Leaders are starting to see how these programs help people deal with their challenges.

This article intends to shed light on the newest generation in the workforce, Gen Zers. You will also learn how Gen Zers perceive wellness and factors impacting their well-being. Let’s dive right in!

Understanding Gen Z's Perspective on Work and Well-Being

Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Zers have seen economic challenges and burnout that previous generations have faced.

Unlike previous generations, Gen Zers focus on overall well-being. They recognize that a holistic life approach helps enhance workplace success, engagement, and motivation.

Yet, research shows that Gen Z is surging as one of the most anxious generations up-to-date. Unemployment, climate change, technology, and high social media expectations add to their anxiety.

Gen Z values a balanced life that prioritizes well-being alongside professional success. For this generation, well-being translates into continuous opportunities for development and growth, flexibility, meaningful work, and an inclusive environment where they can thrive.

Here are some key wellness activities that contribute to Gen Z's workplace success:

Mindfulness and Meditation

Employees practicing mindfulness at work
Mindfulness practices have gained immense popularity among Gen Zs. It's due to their constant exposure to social media. Mindfulness activities help them with the following:

  • reduce stress

  • deal better with the pressure from society

  • enhance emotional intelligence

Incorporating mindfulness into the workplace can boost Gen Z employees' mental well-being. This further increases their overall engagement and productivity.

Suggested reading: The Art Of Mindfulness At Work: 10 Successful Tips

Coaching and Mentoring Initiatives

Mentors coaching employees at work
Mentoring and coaching initiatives help foster the untapped potential of the younger generations.

Gen Z is an entirely digital native generation with access to innovative technologies from an early age. Growing up with a wide range of knowledge and sources has made Gen Zers prefer self-learning programs over traditional approaches or formal learning.

Being used to influencers, their early online ‘mentors,’ they tend to respond better to coaching and mentoring initiatives. Experienced people can easily provide mentorship within the company. However, coaching might require external support and additional resources.

Organizations that are flexible and offer diverse solutions like coaching and mentoring send out a positive message, especially to Gen Zers, that they are willing to uplift their workforce.

Mental Health Support

Mental health expert counseling a distressed employee
Mental health is a top priority for Gen Zers. No one can deny its essence in supporting well-being in the workplace. Mental health issues negatively impact performance in many ways. Employers can provide access to counseling resources to increase employee focus and productivity.

Moreover, creating a stigma-free environment to discuss mental health issues freely is essential. This fosters a supportive workplace culture and leads to higher motivation and engagement.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Happy employee working with flexible work hours
Flexibility at work matters a lot. And if you're looking for an initiative that appeals to all generations, this is the one. Flexible work arrangements like remote work options or flexible hours, allow employees to:

  • better manage their work-life balance

  • reduce stress

  • enhance their commitment to their jobs

With a high sense of pragmatism, Gen Zers expect to work on their own terms - as long as they deliver the expected results. It also means Gen Zers don’t do well in authoritarian environments. They prefer non-hierarchical leadership and structures.

Opportunities for Skill Development and Career Growth

Young employees excited for growth opportunities at work
Gen Zers are eager to learn and grow in their careers. They value growth and learning almost as much as financial compensation and benefits. And they want it fast.

This digital-native generation has lived in a world with instant experiences. And they expect the same in their professional lives. For them, it is not only indispensable but also a key criteria in choosing an employer or leaving their current job.

Personalized opportunities for skills development and compelling career paths forward are some of the best solutions that help Gen Zers thrive in the workplace.

Financial Wellness

Gen Zers seek workplace that offer financial wellness
Financial stress can negatively impact well-being. But, Gen Zers have a practical approach to financial compensation.

Unlike other generations, they talk openly about money and care about fair equity. Still, contrary to the general opinion, this doesn't make money the main driver of this generation, but it represents an essential point.

Beyond competitive compensation packages, companies can also offer financial wellness programs. These will help educate Gen Z employees on budgeting, saving, and investing. Helping them achieve financial stability contributes to their happiness and engagement at work.

Inclusivity and Diversity Initiatives

We live in a globalized world, and that makes our future multicultural. Gen Zers are radically inclusive and value diversity and authenticity in the workplace.

Companies should focus on transparent communication that works for everybody. Further, they should create a work environment where all generations feel appreciated.

Fostering inclusivity and a sense of belonging will greatly benefit your employees. For instance, it will establish trust and nurture a reliable community.

Social Responsibility

GenZ Employee eager to work for social cause
Gen Z is a socially conscious generation. They want to work for companies that align with their values. Employers can attract the crowd by incorporating social responsibility initiatives into the workplace.

Examples of such initiatives include volunteering opportunities and sustainability efforts.

Gen Zers’ longing for meaning and fulfillment is also present in their work-related priorities and choices. Knowing their work contributes to a greater purpose enhances Gen Z's motivation and job satisfaction.

Companies can support their employee's desire for meaningful work by cultivating a strong organizational culture based on authentic core values. They can also let each employee see how their work contributes to the bigger picture.

Regular Feedback and Recognition

Employees looking at their work feedback
Gen Z values continuous feedback and recognition for their contributions. Managers should embrace regular performance reviews to do the following:

  • discuss goals and progress

  • address any personal concerns

  • make job expectations crystal clear

In doing so, Gen Zers will gain much clarity on their contributions to the organization. It will also align with the long-term goals of the organization.

Regular feedback sessions help employees identify their improvement areas or skills gaps.

Final Thoughts

The growing role of overall well-being in the workplace is a prominent feature of Gen Z's approach to their careers.

Employers should understand and cater to their well-being needs. This will help them unlock the full potential of Gen Z employees. With it, they can foster employee success, engagement, and motivation.

Employers should promote mindfulness, flexible work arrangements, and inclusivity. This will be a stepping stone to create a healthier and productive workplace for all generations.

As Gen Z continues to shape the workforce, it is time to focus on their well-being. It will be a win-win for both employers and employees alike.

This article is written by Raluca Apostol co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Nestor, the People Intelligence Platform that helps organizations unlock the Power of Skills to drive workforce agility, higher performance, and continuous growth. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

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