Mental health of millennials at the workplace: Why should you care?
18. oktober 2023 kl. 09:49 · 9 minutter å lese
Commonly referred to as Gen Y, Mypod (read: iPod) and the anxious generation, millennials are the first to witness the rise of the Internet and social media. Born between the early 80’s to mid-90’s, they supposedly love using the word hashtag in everyday conversation and believe that coconut oil works for everything. According to Forbes, they constitute the strongest sector in the job market (almost 65%) and are the world's most powerful consumers.
Despite being a dominant yet unconventional force, only 29% of millennials feel engaged at work. According to The Hartford’s 2021 Future of Benefits Study, almost 52% of millennials struggle with stress and anxiety at work. The rise of global pandemic has drastically impacted their lifestyle, as they shift to digital learning, working-from-home and become disconnected from their social life. As obvious as it may seem, millennials’ mental health is like an elephant in the room – everyone knows it exists – but nobody wants to address it. But we do. We know that talking about it will eventually help companies understand its importance. We believe we are the catalyst that can initiate a chain reaction.
Sense of purpose
Unlike their previous generation, millennials do not just work for money. They are driven by purpose and align their personal and professional goals accordingly. This sense of purpose eventually transcends their personal space into ‘shared goals’ as a team. Such avid longing for purpose in their professional life often leads them to experience multiple phases of burnout. The process of coping up with mounting anxiety often takes a toll on their mental health. It creates an atmosphere of uncertainty where they don’t feel ‘good-enough’ while performing their day-to-day activities. With nowhere to go, they often quit their job in search of an environment that can help them ‘channel their purpose’.
According to a report titled “Millennial Digital Workers Really Do Differ from Their Elders”, millennials are more likely to use higher-end technologies in their personal and professional lives. It’s no surprise that they have a more positive view of IT strategies that encourage the use of digital devices at work. It makes them innovative, and enhances their productivity. The relentless desire to achieve maximum output in minimum time, has led them to master their multitasking abilities. All of this, however, has come at a cost. Amid the hustle and bustle, they often spread too thin and struggle to focus. They feel disgruntled, exhibit signs of stress and find it difficult to relax after work. Inevitably, they experience erratic mood swings and battle with reduced attention spans.
Millennials are hyperactive when it comes to connectivity and digital presence. These individuals often describe themselves as active news and information seekers. They are keen on sharing their ideas/opinions and often find it meaningful to engage themselves with communities in digital spaces. Since such spaces give them the ability to craft a digital version of themselves, they often fall prey to perfectionism. An independent study conducted by American Psychological Association attributes soaring levels of perfectionism to social media usage. Millennials often ‘compete’ with each other under the societal pressure to succeed. Since they tie their worth and self-esteem to perfectionism, any slump in progress leads to an overall sense of dissatisfaction and social isolation.
So how should the burgeoning crisis be addressed? According to McKinsey’s recent publication ‘Mental health in the workplace: The coming revolution’, companies should dedicate organizational leadership and deploy resources to assist them. At Lifekeys, we specialize in helping companies take care of their employees’ mental health. Our extensive experience in counseling sessions revealed that companies felt a considerable difference in the performance of their employees. During COVID-19, our webinars have played an instrumental role in spreading our message across digital platforms. The core principle is to create a safe space where employees can share their concerns and equip themselves with better coping mechanisms.
Managers should internalize a sense of responsibility and nurture confidence amongst themselves and their teams when it comes to dealing with mental exhaustion. Since businesses do not possess the relevant resources to design and roll out such a transformation, it’s here that companies like Lifekeys come into play. Our turn-key solution allows companies to get their young workforce counselled from leading psychologists in the industry. Data-driven approaches at Lifekeys allow companies to keep a real-time check on their employees’ mental well-being so that they can act timely and responsibly.
As technology continues to change the way we work, mental health concerns will tend to become more complex. In order to ensure a purposeful and dynamic workforce, companies should adapt a humanistic approach. With the rise of a global pandemic, investment in millennials’ mental well-being is a necessity rather than a choice. The objective is not just to mitigate the challenges at hand. Instead, it is to evolve and equip to accommodate the workforce of the future.