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How To Use Prepaid Digital Mastercards to Retain Gen-Z Employees

~8min reading time
Generation Z girl taking a selfie showing peace sign with her hand

Gen Z is projected to make up over 25% of the global workforce by 2025, according to McKinsey. This digital-native generation isn't just seeking jobs; they're demanding a workplace that aligns with their values of financial security, mental well-being, environmental consciousness, flexibility, and personal autonomy. As traditional retention strategies lose their charm, innovative solutions such as engagement programs using prepaid digital Mastercards are emerging as a powerful tool to attract, motivate, and retain this valuable talent.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the unique mindset of Gen Z, explore how their expectations are reshaping the workplace, and how prepaid digital Mastercards can be strategically used to address their needs.

Understanding the Gen Z Mindset

Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, has been shaped by economic instability and a global pandemic. Their experiences have led them to prioritise financial security (30% of Gen Zs report feeling financially insecure, according to Deloitte), mental well-being (with only 51% rating their mental health as good or extremely good), and environmental responsibility. Unlike their predecessors, Gen Z seeks autonomy and flexibility in their careers, valuing work-life balance and a supportive work environment that aligns with their values.

Prioritise Mental Health and Well-being

The mental health of Gen Z employees is a critical concern, with significant implications for their well-being and productivity. According to Deloitte's 2023 Global Gen Z and Millennial Survey, only 51% of Gen Zs rate their mental health as good or extremely good. Plus, 40% report feeling stressed all or most of the time, with financial concerns, family welfare, and job-related pressures as major contributors.

To attract and retain Gen Z talent, HR managers and employers should prioritise mental health support and create a workplace culture that promotes well-being. Leveraging prepaid digital Mastercards can be a powerful tool in achieving this goal, offering flexibility and accessibility to various mental health resources.

Here’s how:

  • Provide counselling and access to mental health apps: Deloitte's research found that less than 6 in 10 Gen Zs feel comfortable speaking with their managers about their mental health challenges. To create a more supportive workplace environment, employers can offer free or discounted counselling sessions, providing employees with a safe space to address stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. Prepaid digital Mastercards can further increase accessibility by covering the cost of therapy apps or online resources, offering discretion and convenience. Additionally, integrating these Mastercards with digital wallets like Google Pay or Apple Pay allows for discreet access to mental health support on the go.
  • Organise wellness initiatives for employees: 40% of Gen Zs feel stressed all or most of the time. Employers can proactively address this by offering resources like stress reduction workshops, mindfulness seminars, and healthy habit classes. Additionally, providing gym memberships, yoga sessions, or even dedicated "self-care days" as part of paid time off demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being. To further incentivise healthy habits, consider providing prepaid digital Mastercards loaded with funds that can be used for therapy, gym memberships, or wellness retreats.

Address Financial Insecurity

Financial insecurity is a widespread concern among Gen Z, with 30% reporting feeling financially insecure and 56% living paycheck to paycheck. The rising cost of living and economic uncertainties have taken a toll on their financial well-being. To support your Gen Z employees, offer competitive salaries along with tools and resources to improve financial literacy and promote independence.

For example, consider providing resources and education on budgeting, debt management, and financial planning to help employees feel more secure.

Demonstrate Commitment to Sustainability

Environmental sustainability is not just a buzzword for Gen Z; it's a core value that influences their career choices. In fact, research from Deloitte indicates that 62% of Gen Zs report feeling anxious or worried about climate change, and 20% have even made career changes to better align with their environmental values.

To attract and retain this eco-conscious generation, HR managers and employers must not only demonstrate a genuine commitment to sustainability through actionable initiatives and corporate social responsibility but also offer tools that help Gen Z make a positive impact.

Switching to all-digital Mastercards for employee expenses and benefits is a simple eco-friendly move that eliminates traditional plastic cards and the negative environmental impact they bring. Initiatives like this resonate strongly with Gen Z's environmental values and can be a deciding factor for where they choose to work. Employers who integrate these cards into reward programs attract eco-conscious talent by offering a tangible way to support sustainable practices and promote a workplace culture of environmental responsibility.

Support and enable hybrid and remote workers

In today's workplace, flexibility is not just a perk, it's an expectation. According to a 2024 Hays Ireland survey, 41% of professionals work in a hybrid model, while 25% of Irish employees work remotely. This shift towards remote and hybrid work reflects Gen Z's desire for autonomy and work-life balance, prioritising productivity and well-being over traditional office structures.

Prepaid digital Mastercards are an ideal tool to support this new way of working. They empower remote workers with financial flexibility, allowing them to manage expenses on the go, whether for home office setups, co-working spaces, or per diem allowances during business trips. By providing a 100% digital and environmentally-friendly way to handle work-related expenses, these cards eliminate the friction and frustration often associated with traditional reimbursement processes, ultimately boosting employee morale and productivity.

It’s Time to Invest in Your Gen Z Workforce

By understanding Gen Z’s priorities and adopting innovative solutions like prepaid digital Mastercards, employers can create a workplace that not only attracts but also retains this valuable talent pool.

Prepaid digital Mastercards offer a versatile and effective tool to address Gen Z's multifaceted needs. From promoting mental well-being and financial security to supporting sustainable practices and enabling flexible work arrangements, these cards empower employees and align with their values. By embracing this digital-first approach, companies can build a more engaged, productive, and loyal Gen Z workforce.

If you want to learn more about how CleverCards can help you attract and retain Gen Z employees, fill out the contact form below and our team will get back to you as soon as possible.