Gen Z workforce drives new-age benefits trend in India Inc

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The dynamics of employee benefits are undergoing a transformation, driven by the changing demands of a multigenerational workforce and the pandemic’s impact. With millennials and Gen Z constituting around 65% of today’s workforce, companies are reimagining benefits to align with the preferences of these emerging generations and to remain enticing in the competitive talent market.

Shifting Priorities in a Post-Pandemic Landscape
The landscape of employee benefits has shifted dramatically. Before the pandemic, cash-related perks held more appeal for employees. However, the aftermath of Covid-19 has prompted a shift towards wellness and safety, according to the 2023 Deloitte India Benefits Trends Survey, exclusively shared with ET.

Adapting to a Diverse Workforce
As Gen Z and millennials take the reins, their preferences have redefined the benefits landscape. The focus has evolved from traditional compensation-centric benefits to a more holistic approach. Gen Z seeks gender-neutral childcare support, flexible work arrangements, an inclusive environment, and recognition for their performance, as highlighted by Neelesh Gupta, director at Deloitte India.

Emergence of New-Age Benefits
With the Baby Boomer and Generation X populations dwindling in the workforce, modern benefits have come to the fore. Companies are adopting a range of forward-thinking benefits to cater to the diverse needs of the new-age employees. These encompass gender-neutral leave policies, mental wellness support, childcare benefits beyond statutory requirements, virtual care initiatives, hybrid work models, expanded insurance coverage, and more.

Elevating Employee Value Proposition
While compensation traditionally held sway, the focus is now pivoting towards employee benefits. Modern, distinctive benefits wield significant influence on Gen Z employees, fostering trust and loyalty. Companies such as Capgemini prioritize employee well-being with inclusive leave policies and holistic support, recognizing the demands of today’s fast-paced work environment.

Holistic Wellbeing Approach at Fiserv
Global fintech and payments company Fiserv champions a holistic approach to employee well-being that caters to various age groups. By offering fitness memberships, comprehensive medical insurance, telemedicine services, and financial planning sessions, Fiserv addresses the diverse needs and aspirations of its workforce.

A Disconnect in Perspectives
Despite companies’ efforts, a disparity exists between employer and employee priorities, as revealed by the survey. Employees emphasize relational factors like feeling valued and belonging, while employers tend to focus on transactional aspects such as compensation and work-life balance. This misalignment often leads to investment in less relevant benefits and underutilization, as shown by the survey of 257 organizations spanning diverse industries.

In the evolving landscape of talent attraction and retention, companies are recognizing the significance of adapting their benefit offerings to meet the expectations of the Gen Z workforce. By embracing modern benefits that emphasize well-being, flexibility, and inclusivity, businesses can stay ahead in the race to attract and retain top talent.

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