Millennials and Gen-Z employees are the growing majority in today’s workforce1. These now grown-up generations have unique perspectives and desired needs from their employer and from their benefits. Different from preceding generations, these segments place more emphasis on inclusivity and wellness. When considering employers, Millennials and Gen-Z segments want to work for organizations who care about their wellbeing, have ethical leadership, and have a diverse and inclusive culture.
In addition, Gen Z and Millennials seek competitive compensation– defined as salary and the value of benefits and perks. According to Gallup, the top reason cited by Millennials for seeking a new job was related to better compensation and richer benefits, followed by greater work life balance and personal wellbeing 2. Addressing these concerns in a strained market, requires employers to implement economically-minded approaches to building a high-value compensation and rewards offering.
Attracting and retaining this growing majority of the workforce with your benefits strategy also means rethinking your approach, especially for core pillars like family benefits. For decades employers optimized benefits for the 1950s era nuclear family. In today’s terms, using this antiquated definition of family to define a company’s benefits portfolio can leave many employees feeling unseen by HR departments. This is especially true when it comes to looking at what younger generations expect and want from their benefits.
These younger cohorts think of family differently than previous generations and include pets in their definition. Over 70% of US households own a pet 3, with Millennials and Gen-Z leading the way on ownership growth 4. Beyond ownership pets are not felt to be part of the family 5. Over 80% of Millennial and Gen Z pet parents agree that pets are part of their family. Most benefits strategies have room to be strengthened by taking into account the contemporary definition of family and reinforcing inclusivity through addressing how these generations define family and love.
Over half of the pet parents in these segments think it is important that their employer provide pet benefits. In fact, 52% of Gen Z pet parents say that additional pet benefits would increase their desire to stay with their company for the next 12 months 6. In an effort to retain employees, many Millennial and Gen-Z friendly employers are going beyond pet-friendly offices and pet insurance to build a more meaningful offering for pet parents.
Employers are beginning to invest in solutions that support and drive value to pet parents in their daily lives with offerings like pet telehealth. From day-to-day lifestyle questions to urgent care and emergency triage, pet telehealth delivers tangible value for the employee. There are actual time savings, costs savings, and stress savings metrics associated with using pet telehealth for a pet parent. Avoiding costly vet bills, avoiding travel time, and avoiding the stress of coordinating and caring for a sick pet is valued by pet parents.
Similar to human telemedicine, accessing vet care remotely has a strong value proposition for busy professionals. As employers look to the horizon on how to build offerings that matter to their Millennial and Gen-Z workforce, supporting pet parents can’t be left out. Including benefits like pet telehealth can help attract and retain Millennial and Gen-Z employees now and into the future.
1 Pew, 2 Gallup, 3 American Pet Products, 4 PetFoodIndustry.com, 5, 6 Airvet Research 2023 Pet Parent Survey