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Why employers must create environments for Generation Z to thrive

Man sitting at desk with laptop and headphones

Chronic exhaustion, anxiety, and little hope of affording a home regardless of how hard they work. That’s exactly how many Generation Z (Gen Z) workers in North America report feeling as they begin their careers. Entering the workforce for this demographic (defined as those born between 1997 and 2012) presents unique challenges amidst swelling inflation and an affordability crisis that’s worsening on the alleged tail-end of a global pandemic. 

According to the Cigna International Health 2023 survey of nearly 12,000 global workers, 91 per cent of 18-to-24-year-olds report being stressed. That same survey found that unmanageable stress affects almost a quarter of Gen Z respondents (23 per cent), while almost all (98 per cent) said they are dealing with symptoms of burnout.

Employers looking to Gen Z to fill labour shortages are noticing that lack of engagement across this group is costing them, and burnout is a major contributor. A 2023 employee engagement study by Gallup found that workers who are not engaged or actively disengaged cost the world economy $8.8 trillion US in lost productivity.

As more workers return to the office on the other side of the pandemic, this less visible (yet no less damaging) shadow pandemic of declining mental health simply cannot be ignored. 

In order to succeed, business leaders must conduct more focused efforts to attract and retain these workers by creating supportive workplaces that understand this generation's views on work, their needs and values, and provide professional and personal support to help these employees deal with the challenges they face.

Download the eBook Why employers must create environments for Generation Z to thrive. And how they can do it.