Generation Z struggling most to manage wellbeing

New McKinsey research highlights the strains young people feel post-Covid. Its findings offer HR and people professionals insight into how to engage and support this cohort in the workplace.

Gen Z professional under stress at desk
The management consultancy conducted a series of consumer surveys and interviews in the US with Gen Zers, who range from middle school students to early-career professionals.Among the headline findings was Generation Z report the least positive life outlook, including lower levels of emotional and social wellbeing, than older generations. 
Related reading from Relocate Global

Impact of the pandemic on Generation Z

A quarter of Gen Z respondents said they feel emotionally distressed. This is almost double the figure reported by Millennial and Generation X respondents (both 13%) and triple the level reported by Baby Boomer respondents (8%).The survey also highlighted how Generation Z were more likely than other generations to report a behavioural-health diagnosis, but almost twice as likely to not seek treatment than Millennials and be less engaged in their healthcare then other respondents.

Support for every employee

“Preaching to the converted and getting employees who are already interested in their health and wellbeing is not a difficult task for employers,” says Debra Clark, Head of Specialist consulting at Towergate Health & Protection.“The challenge is how to engage the non-engaged – the employees who are less invested in the support that employers offer. It’s crucial that employers look at how to do this when building their plans for the upcoming year if they really want to ensure all their staff are supported.” The independent insurance broking service outlines ten practices employers can use to engage with every employee and build more cost-effective support. This includes helping employees understand their risk factors. “For the younger generations it may be a matter of explaining that PMI is not all about heart bypasses and hip replacements,” says Debra Clark. “Accessing support can be flexible too – via apps and hubs, it doesn’t have to include paper form-filling.” 

Holistic wellbeing support

Studies released in the UK to coincide with mid-January’s “Blue Monday” suggest promoting mental-health literacy and supporting a holistic approach that includes behavioural, physical and social aspects can positively impact employee performance and engagement in these talent-tight times. For Generation Z, highlighted by McKinsey as having the highest level of perceived unmet needs, including financial and social, this could include targeted support around financial wellbeing.  Research from Mintago, a financial platform for employees and employers to help pensions savings and financial wellbeing, finds that financial anxiety negatively impacts the job performance of a quarter (23%) of UK adults. “As such, employers must play a more active role in alleviating employees’ financial stress – and improving engagement with workplace pension schemes would be a positive step in achieving this,” said Chieu Cao, CEO of Mintago. “Something as simple as granting employees access to information about their pension, such as the value of their savings and what that means relative to their goals, will help employees feel in control of their finances.“In an increasingly volatile economic landscape, effective financial management can make all the difference to an employee’s financial and overall wellbeing.”

Read more from HR and talent management news here.

Subscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online Directory

Related Articles