A recent “Gen Z – Shaping the Future of UK Workplaces” report by Fruitful Insights in collaboration with Legal & General Group Protection reveals that Gen Z employees, aged 16 to 26, have reported a higher prevalence of mental health challenges, including stress, anxiety, and depression, over the past year compared to their counterparts.
The research indicates that roughly 77% of Gen Z workers express a likelihood of leaving their current employers, while only 23% exhibit commitment to staying. Additionally, the report underscores three key findings: the essential role of employers in supporting Gen Z well-being and the repercussions of neglect, the subjective nature of well-being necessitating an understanding of workforce needs, and the growing belief that ‘good work is beneficial for health,’ prompting its integration into well-being initiatives for the working-age population.
This comprehensive study, drawing from UK employee data analysis by Fruitful Insights, offers valuable insights into managing the Gen Z workforce, which is projected to represent over a third of the workforce by 2033, as Baby Boomers retire.
Notably, Gen Z’s perspective contrasts with the notion of lifelong jobs, as they face more job loss than significant life events such as marriage and childbirth, with their job satisfaction hinging on factors like feeling valued, employer commitment to well-being, confidence in the company’s values, and work flexibility.
Fruitful Insights chairman and co-founder Mike Tyler says: “The fact that 1 in 3 Gen Z employees say they’ve experienced mental health problems should be a big concern for people and business; with implications for Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI), Environment Social Governance (ESG) and, ultimately, performance.
“This finding could be related to life-stage stressors and different expectations of life and work in comparison to older peers. And/or it could be symptomatic of Gen Z’s greater awareness and understanding of their own mental health and a greater willingness to reach out for help.
“Any which way, recruitment and retention is a big problem with this cohort but, at the same time, the value Gen Z place on cultural aspects represents a big opportunity that needs to be grasped. Business has a vital role to play in supporting the wellbeing of Gen Z; providing greater purpose and community to this group, relevant benefits and services, and communication that not only connects, but that also contributes to creating the conditions for a better wellbeing culture.”
Legal & General Group Protection governance director Vanessa Sallows says: “Gen Z are the true digital natives. But being always on, isn’t always good. There are indications in this report that the use of digital technology may be inadvertently leading to some less-than-healthy outcomes.
“Balance and choice across the spectrum of face-to-face to digital seems key; in terms of how support is accessed and how it’s communicated. Embrace social media but don’t assume that’s the only way Gen Z want to receive information. And don’t assume that information, on its own, leads to wellbeing.
“Group income protection insurers and intermediaries have an important part to play in all of this, using tools like Fruitful Insights and making full use of Legal & General’s in-house vocational clinical team, as well as our strategic communication toolkit.”