This article from the Wellsource team originally appeared on the Bravo Wellness site - view the full article as it was originally posted here.
In part one of this article, we discussed the growing prominence of Generation Z (Gen Z) in the workforce, and some of the unique challenges this generation faces when it comes to health and wellness. HRA data has helped identify this generation's higher rates of depression and stress, and also their interest in authentic social connections.
Today, we'll dive into some of the stats surrounding health Habits of Gen Z, and the expectations they have of wellness offerings.
By the Numbers: Health Habits of Gen Z*
34.7% Report feelings cause distress or impaired functioning
37.6% Don’t eat enough fruit
64.0% Don’t eat enough veggies
50.6% Skip breakfast
10.5 Average sitting hours
13.3% Exposed to secondhand smoke
31.0% Not current on dental exams
18.2% Rarely use sunscreen
The stats to the right paint a picture of a population that could certainly benefit from wellness programs and health intervention best practices. Gen Zs are dissatisfied with a traditional healthcare approach and far more open to alternative health and wellness
With that in mind, start with an HRA that identifies health risks based on lifestyle behaviors and adherence to preventive exams. Use the data from the HRA to create a workplace environment that makes it easier to be healthy. Stock the breakroom with fresh fruits from a farmer’s market. Celebrate Meatless Mondays in the cafeteria. Provide work breaks for meditation. Bring preventive services to the office.
Generation Z expects a personalized approach. HRAs data can help.
Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace report found that only 31% of employees are actively engaged at work. While this is higher than any other country, it’s far from ideal.
Businesses benefit from engaged employees with increased productivity, lower absenteeism rates, higher retention, improved safety, and better quality.
Improving engagements starts with “understanding what makes employees ‘tick’.” Gallup’s formulary includes receiving recognition for good work, feeling cared for as a person by management and coworkers, having opportunity for personal and professional growth, and enjoying work-life balance.
All generations—from Gen Z to Baby Boomers—believe work-life balance is a key component to a happy workplace. Gallup’s report found that engagement is highest when employees telecommute at least 60% but less than 80% of the time and work onsite with all their coworkers on the other days. Remote workers are most likely to feel their employer meets their social and personal growth needs. While Gen Z cares about autonomy, flexibility, and work-life balance, this youngest generation is more concerned with stability, social consciousness, and professional growth.
HRAs help wellness coordinators personalize health interventions when they identify what a person needs and what they are willing to change. Health and wellness professionals must deliver interventions in ways that resonate with each employee. Digital natives expect digital solutions and constant/instant feedback. They also want to enjoy experiences that make them feel special or catered to—like the secret menu at Starbucks—and that accommodate their preferences and perspectives. As the Gallup report points out, even self-reliant workers benefit from managerial support that is customized to their individual goals and expectations.
Generation Z expects a coordinated, predictive digital experience that comes from data being shared between companies. HRA data will play an essential role in program design.
Increasingly, wellness companies are turning to technology to digest huge amounts of data—including lifestyle and consumer data—to get the big picture of employee populations. HRAs contribute valuable data that helps predict individual and population health.
To enhance health outcomes, HRA data should be considered with other data sources, such as claims data, diagnostic tests, chart notes, social determinants of health, behavioral health information, genomic, and consumer data. This requires removing data siloes in wellness and population health similarly to how they are being removed in health care.
The good news for data analysts is that nearly 7 in 10 Gen Zs are willing to trade personal data for a predictive digital experience. But to feel comfortable giving out personal information, they need to know that it’s protected, so make sure your HRA has clear privacy policies and tells individuals how the data will be used. In exchange for sharing their data, Gen Zs expect a company will anticipate what they need—and if that doesn’t happen, they’ll leave.
Now is the time to intervene, before serious health problems take hold. Gen Zs want employers to help them develop healthy lifestyles, work-life balance, financial health (e.g., savings plans, decent salaries, and loan repayment assistance), and collaboration and social connection—and to use technology to do so. They are also the generation most likely to seek out therapy or medication for stress or mental health issues. HRA data helps inform wellness programs so employers and wellness companies can meet or exceed expectations of the workforce and improve employee health.
Want to learn more about how health risk assessment can help your population? Read the Ultimate Guide to HRAs white paper.
*Based on de-identified data from the WellSuite® IV Health Risk Assessment for the Workforce completed between January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018.