Navigating Benefits

Generation Z in the Workplace: Dental Care Preferences


  • Many members of Generation Z are already dealing with dental pain and have become interested in dental care

  • Meet with your Gen Z staff in person to discuss dental health plans, and then give them options for digital follow-up

  • Look for dental plans that have good apps, incorporate emerging tech and have telehealth options

Posted by December 6, 2018

You’ll soon be seeing a lot more of Generation Z in the workplace, so it’s important to understand these individuals’ unique needs now. Millennials have dominated the corporate landscape for the last few years—and they are currently the largest generation in the U.S. labor force—but Gen Z isn’t far behind, and shouldn’t be ignored.

That’s why it’s so crucial to understand the demographic’s dental preferences and concerns. After all, good dental care and hygiene can lead to better overall health (and higher productivity levels) for all of your colleagues. Here’s how to best educate Gen Z employees about the importance of oral health.

Dental Issues That Generation Z Faces

The top oral health problem that young adults commonly face is pain, with 35 percent reporting they’ve experienced issues with biting and chewing. Additionally, more than 30 percent have reported feeling embarrassed by their teeth, even to the point of avoiding smiling.

This shows that Gen Z employees are very aware—maybe even hyperaware—of their dental health. Therefore, helping them improve their oral wellness could simply be a matter of motivating them to make it a top priority.

How to Educate Gen Z About Dental Care’s Importance

Interestingly, 80 percent of young adults ages 18 to 34 (which includes Gen Z and some millennials) actually plan to visit the dentist within the next year, but only 30 percent report actually visiting the dentist in the past year. It’s not that they don’t care or they don’t recognize the importance of dental care—it’s just that they may consider other things (including their professional deadlines and personal budget) as higher priorities.

Incorporating emerging technologies can be one way to help Gen Z employees prioritize dental care. For example, individuals in this age group typically enjoy wearables and other forms of emerging tech. If you find a dental plan that integrates with new technology, members of Gen Z might be more willing to use it. This is especially true if they can also enjoy some perks, like lower premiums, for going to the dentist twice a year.

Teaching Gen Z About Your Dental Plan

Overall, Generation Z workers are independent and creative thinkers. They believe they’ll be more successful than their parents, and they are interested in entrepreneurship. So, when you talk to them, approach them as the creative, hard-working, independent employees that they are.

Interestingly, 51 percent of individuals in the Gen Z demographic say they prefer in-person communication. Although you may have gotten used to communicating about your organization’s dental plan via emails and websites, you’ll want to talk directly to Gen Z employees individually or in meetings.

Of course, these are tech-savvy workers, so don’t abandon digital communications altogether. You’ll want to introduce your company’s dental plans (and explain why they’re important) in person, but follow up with plenty of digital communications. Give Gen Z employees the digital means to study the available benefits later. Due to the fact that Gen Z enjoys mediums like YouTube and Snapchat, you may want to consider creating a video primer. This film can help explain the benefits of your dental plan and how to sign up and use it. It’s a good idea to then have a health care agent available to answer questions through instant messaging—and make sure the dental plan has a good app that Gen Z employees can access, preferably with a telehealth option. Members of Gen Z view their digital presence as part of their identity, so they’ll be more interested in a plan that connects with that part of their lives.

As you can see, when it comes to Generation Z in the workplace, these individuals do value dental health; they just don’t always make dental appointments a priority. They’ll need personal outreach and digital motivation to help them follow through.

Trying to find a new dental benefits package that better suits your organization? Check out the Dental Plan Navigator offered by United Concordia Dental.

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