Mental health challenge for 70% of young employees

Younger generations want their employers to focus far more on the mental health challenge they are facing, according to new research by social purpose strategy firm Purpose Union.

The study dramatically revealed the impact the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has had on employee wellbeing, with seven in 10 (70%) of millennials and Generation Z now considering mental health to be the generational challenge of the day.

The issue was deemed more important for young people than their employers dealing with climate change, job security and economic inequality, and it came second-only to Coronavirus.

Commenting on the data, Daniela Flores, founding partner of Purpose Union, said: “While the negative impact of Coronavirus on younger generations is not surprising, it is clear that the past year has shaped Millennial and Gen Z opinions on how they want to live and work in a post-pandemic world.”

She said: “The experience of the pandemic will set the tone for businesses looking to engage with potential employees and consumers.”

The report was co-produced by brand consultant, Root Cause. Its co-founder Charline Merieau said: “The pandemic has pushed many Gen Z and Millennials over the edge in terms of their mental health. It has exacerbated existing trends and increased expectations and demands on companies to intervene.”

The research found nearly two-thirds (64%) of young workers say they now consider flexible working important when deciding their employer.

It also revealed the majority of young people (66%) now want to work for organisations that actively promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Desire for firms to hit specific diversity targets were also welcomed. Nearly three-fifths (58%) of the 2,878 people polled for the research supported binding quotas to achieve targets on race and gender. Moreover, six in 10 (60%) want to see employers demonstrate a clear commitment to this, such as linking executive pay to positive outcomes on diversity.