Workplace Benefit Trends By Generation In 2023 – Forbes Advisor


Published: Aug 28, 2023, 12:00pm

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Workplace benefits in 2023 are more than just perks on paper. They represent the aspirations, challenges and lived experiences of different generations. And while HR software continues to refine and optimize organizational processes, there’s an underlying human story waiting to be told—one that’s imperative for organizations to listen closely to so they can align their benefit strategies to their workforce’s needs.

Our numbers—derived from an online survey involving 1,000 employed Americans—paint a clear picture of these generational narratives. While 63% of employees feel their relationship with HR directly affects job performance and company trust, there’s room for improvement: 69% also report challenges in accessing healthcare data, and 62% point to problems keeping up with updates and best practices from their HR team.

These data points are just the beginning of the story. Join us as we navigate through the broader themes and insights emerging from our survey results.

Gen Z and Millennials are the least satisfied with their jobs

Job satisfaction serves as a key metric for understanding employee well-being and engagement. Our data indicates that workers, on average, rate their job satisfaction at 5.5 out of 10. However, when diving deeper into generational differences, Gen Z and Millennials—cohorts representing the future workforce—report below-average satisfaction scores.

Here’s the breakdown of job satisfaction across all generational cohorts:

  • Gen Z scores an average of 5.2 out of 10
  • Millennials report a satisfaction level of 4.6 out of 10
  • Gen X stands out at 6.6 out of 10
  • Baby Boomers weigh in at 5.6 out of 10

It’s also worth noting that only 16.2% of workers rate their job satisfaction at 8 or higher, suggesting a potential area of concern.

Which initiatives do employees believe their workplace is actually committed to?

An important aspect of job satisfaction and trust revolves around initiatives that workers believe their employers genuinely prioritize. Our survey data reveals that a people-first culture and work-life balance emerge as the top initiatives employees across all generations perceive their workplaces are genuinely committed to.

There are generational nuances, though: For example, Gen Z views pay equity as a priority for their employers, while Millennials report a stronger workplace emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs.

Across the board, however, team recognition programs appear to hold the least weight, with employees in all cohorts agreeing that this initiative receives the least commitment from their employers.

Top HR benefits that each generation wants in the workplace

HR benefits have a significant impact on overall job satisfaction: As companies work to meet the diverse needs of their workforce, it’s essential to understand the benefits valued by employees.

For many, the value of a job is often tied to the benefits offered. An overwhelming 79% of respondents prioritize flexible work options, with 64% highlighting the need for flexible parental leave and 62% emphasizing access to mental health resources.

Diving deeper into our survey results gives us a closer look at the generational nuances behind these preferences. Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers all prioritize flexible work options, followed by paid time off and paid parental leave. Millennials, on the other hand, while also placing flexibility at the top of the list, highlight mental health resources as the second most important benefit for overall job satisfaction.

Mental health benefits are crucial for all workers in 2023

Employee well-being is no longer just a buzzword: It’s a tangible metric with significant implications on productivity and retention. Our data underscores the importance workers place on mental health resources, with 62% of employees identifying access to these resources as being key to their overall job satisfaction.

Workers’ emotional landscape provides further support for this sentiment, emphasizing the need for organizational focus on responsive mental health initiatives:

  • 34% feel underappreciated
  • 36% experience stress
  • 26% grapple with anxiety
  • 20% report burnout

Top mental health support offerings for 2023

The consensus is clear across most cohorts: Insurance coverage for mental health services is the most important mental health benefit. The exception? Baby Boomers, who place a higher value on having dedicated office spaces reserved for mental health processing.

Another interesting generational insight from our data: Wellness reimbursements and mental health workshops follow close on the heels of insurance coverage to round out Gen Z’s top three list of mental health resources—placing a spotlight on this youngest cohort’s proactive approach to mental well-being.

Professional development opportunities workers want in 2023

Our data on professional development opportunities highlight similar preferences among all generational cohorts. Topping the list is access to learning management systems, emphasizing the shift towards a preference for digital learning environments.

Next on the list? Company-wide training from various departments, which underlines the importance of interdepartmental knowledge sharing. Stipends for continued learning, performance reviews and manager training also rank high, spotlighting the value employees place on both individual growth and effective leadership.


Our 2023 Workplace Benefits Trends by Generation survey offers a detailed look into the diverse range of employee benefit preferences across generational cohorts. It’s evident from our data that workplace benefits aren’t viewed by employees as merely perks: They’re instrumental in shaping workers’ lived experiences in the workplace.

While there are universal positives, such as the value placed on flexible work options, certain nuances emerge. The emphasis on mental health support, for example, varies across generations but overall serves to signal a strong demand for improved resources.

For organizations, this data offers a road map to further refine and innovate their HR benefit strategies, ensuring they remain relevant and responsive to evolving employee needs across all generations.


To understand the intricacies of workplace benefit preferences across generations, Forbes Advisor commissioned OnePoll to conduct an online survey of 1,000 employed Americans distributed equally across generational cohorts. The research was conducted over July 25 to July 26, 2023, in compliance with the Market Research Society’s code of conduct. The data collected has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 points and a confidence level of 95%. This survey was overseen by the OnePoll research team, which is a member of the MRS and has corporate membership with the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

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Belle Wong is a freelance writer specializing in small business, personal finance, banking, and tech/SAAS. She spends her spare moments testing out the latest productivity apps and plotting her latest novel. Connect with Belle on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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