The influence of 'zillennials' in the workplace

Employers seeking to satisfy "zillennials," a micro-generation born between 1993 and 1998, have an array of factors to consider as members of this group rethink their workplace experiences and what they want out of their jobs, according to MetLife's annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study.

The study — conducted in November and released March 21 — is based on research fielded by Rainmakers CSI, an international strategy, insight and planning consultancy. The research includes 2,737 interviews with companies with at least two employees, as well as 3,041 interviews with full-time employees, ages 21 and older, at companies with at least two employees.

Among the key findings: Overall, job satisfaction across all generations is at its lowest point since MetLife began the study two decades ago, with zillennials reporting the lowest satisfaction. Sixty-six percent of employees reported being satisfied with the job they have now, down from 72 percent last year.

Six other findings:

1. More than half (53 percent) of surveyed zillennials said they sought mental health help in the last year, compared to 31 percent of all employees.

2. Forty-one percent of surveyed zillennials agreed that their employer is doing the "minimum possible" to help them adapt to new working environments, compared to 36 percent of all employees.

3. Forty-six percent of surveyed zillennials said they were willing to stay with a company that does not have a clear and positive company purpose, compared to 57 percent of all employees.

4. Forty-five percent of surveyed zillennials cited an employer's stance on environmental and ethical issues as a "must-have" in accepting a new role, while 40 percent said the same for diversity and inclusion programs and/or affinity groups.

5. Twenty-seven percent of surveyed zillennials said they have considered leaving their employer for an improved benefits package during the past year, compared to 19 percent of all employees.

6. Surveyed zillennials cited paid and unpaid leave benefits (74 percent); work-life management programs (67 percent); mental wellness benefits, including employee assistance programs and reimbursement for therapy sessions (62 percent); and programs to support their financial needs (55 percent) as benefits that would most improve their well-being.

"It's clear we’ve reached a critical inflection point in the workplace, and employers across industries should not only be taking note, but should also see this as an important opportunity for reflection and growth," Todd Katz, executive vice president of group benefits at MetLife, said in a news release. "As employees rethink not only how, but also why they work, zillennials are quickly setting a new standard for evaluating the employee experience. By using this generation's expectations as a barometer for success, employers can evolve to meet their needs in stride — which is important, particularly as zillennials gain a stronger foothold in the workforce."

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