Postdate: 12 January 2018
People in their twenties. They are in the prime of their life, but if we believe recent surveys they are not doing so well at all. They earn less and if they have a job at all, they have a big chance to be overcome by burn-out. How are our colleagues of this ‘lost’ generation doing?
Economic bad times
It was all over the news these last days but I will sum it up anyway. Research shows that people in their twenties have flexible work contracts more often and earn less because of that. Moreover, because of the crisis they have agreed to lower wages or decided to prolong their studies. This, in combination with a student loan debt and higher demands for buying or renting a house, results in a suffering generation.
This generation’s characteristics
Twenty-somethings, also called ‘millennials’, were born during the 1980’s and the beginning of the 90’s. They grew up during the digital revolution. It is a generation of enterprising and highly educated people. They like to take the initiative, are driven and looking for challenges in which self-development is crucial. A large part of their social life is taking place on social networking sites.
The millennials value drivers over stability. Those of themselves but also the culture and values of their employer. What contributes their company (in the form of innovation and creativity) to society? Do I have sufficient autonomy in my job? Am I able to work on my personal and professional development? Do I get enough appreciation? And even: is sports possible during working hours and do they serve quinoa during lunch break?
How about burn-outs?
The number of burn-outs increases yearly also amongst younger generations. The 25-35 year olds (16,6%) and the 55-65 year olds (16,1%) deal with it the most. The cause of a burn-out often lies in a combination of personality characteristics, the private situation and circumstances at work. A working environment which lacks in autonomy, feedback and appreciation and puts an emphasis on control and procedures is a breeding ground for burn-outs. This goes for all age groups. But the description of the generation revealed that autonomy, self-development and appreciation are valued highly by millennials. If you add to this the job insecurity, student loan debts and housing market with its financial worries, you see why this generation is under pressure.
Not ‘lost ’but ‘found’
Employers as well as the twenty-year-olds have a role to play in the ‘safe landing’ of this generation in their working life. Not every employer wants or is able to adopt a start-up company culture. A flat organizational structure, agility, much freedom during working hours, everybody its own responsibilities, feet on the table and a salad bar during lunch. But it is not for nothing that start-up people in their twenties create this culture. So look as an existing organization what you can learn from it. What in your company culture will contribute to the hiring and maintaining and retaining of healthy and happy twenty-year-olds?
Millennials have their own responsibility as well. Drivers and ideals are important, but the work has to be done anyway. And if you want to start a change: start with yourself. It goes for everyone, not alone for people in their twenties, that people can learn ways to cope with work related pressure and stress. For instance: do you need appreciation? Ask for feedback or give your colleague a compliment yourself. Big chance he will adopt the habit. And to be able to work on your personal and professional development you need to have a clear picture of your goals and be able to articulate them specifically. A generation X manager is susceptible to good arguments to allow you to follow an education.
Let us particularly not forget to see the good qualities brought by millennials. Often they are hugely dedicated and enterprising, they have loads of energy and they can show us how to use social media and new technologies. Use them.
The Tsuru App
Tsuru has a digital tool which is very suitable to coach young employees how to deal with work related pressure and stress and to teach them skills to function well on the job. Tsuru changes behaviour and focusses primarily on inner ‘makeable’ factors. An employee ia able to learn forms of coping and skills which help him to perform well. This results in a higher engagement and less absenteeism caused by burn-out for instance.
Tsuru is a mobile daily coach for employees and a dashboard for employers. Tsuru is personal and holistic and evidence based. The founders together with a group of medical specialists and scientists have spend over four years developing an algorithmic model. The profiling as well as the coaching program is based on techniques which are used in psychotherapeutic settings.