More than half of generation Z (56 per cent) and millennial employees (65 per cent) say their current benefits package makes them somewhat more likely to remain with their employer, according to a new survey by LIMRA.

The survey, which polled more than 4,000 U.S. employees, found 54 per cent of workers said they view their benefits as more valuable because of the coronavirus pandemic and four in 10 said it continues to influence the benefits they select.

While salary remained the No. 1 consideration for many respondents, more than half (56 per cent) ranked other benefits as their top priority when evaluating a new employer. Three-quarters of millennials (76 per cent) and gen Z (74 per cent) workers, as well as two-thirds of generation Xers (67 per cent) and baby boomers (63 per cent) rated having a flexible work schedule as a very important benefit.

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More than half of gen Zers and millennials rated mental-health (62 per cent and 56 per cent, respectively) and health wellness (53 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively) programs as very important benefits, compared to fewer than half of gen Xers and baby boomers.

Similarly, half of gen Zers and millennials also said they value financial wellness programs (52 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively) as very important. Notably, emergency savings benefits were also valued more by gen Zers (52 per cent) and millennials (46 per cent), compared to 37 per cent of gen Xers and 28 per cent of baby boomers.

The survey also found millennials and gen Z employees were more likely to worry about economic conditions — as a result, they could be more hesitant to spend additional money on benefits. Three-quarters (74 per cent) of millennials and 59 per cent of gen Zers said inflation affects their benefit decisions, as does the potential for an economic downturn (64 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively).

“Understanding workers’ mindsets — particularly those in younger generations — will enable employers and providers to better position the benefits available and communicate their value,” said Patrick Leary, LIMRA’s corporate vice-president and head of workplace benefits research, in a press release. “Despite emerging negative economic indicators, the job market remains strong. One way employers can edge out their competition is to offer a robust workplace benefits package and educate their workers about those benefits throughout the year.”

Read: 84% of U.S. employers increasing benefits offerings to help with attraction, retention efforts: survey