BlogSmartphone Generation and Anxiety in the Workplace

August 9, 2021

The Smartphone Generation Today

As Gen Z entered the work place, employment opportunities collapsed. In fact, many Gen-Zers had been hired, began careers and within 9 months were furloughed or let go – the culprit?  Covid. But before the current crisis they watched their parents suffer through the 2008 financial crisis. Imagine if institutions you trusted failed you – companies that hired you shuttered, schools closed, banks needed help from the government to stay afloat. You can easily imagine this because you lived through these crises too.  Now imagine your entire live span was defined by these crises. How would you be different?

First, mental health and stability would become real, definable issues. In fact they would be among the most important issues. We see this every day, and have created curriculum specific to this generation. Have a look at our Social Intelligence curriculum (link embedded). Demand for this course has been high among secondary schools. Older Gen-Zer’s need this type of training too.

Lauren Stiller Rikleen writes in her article for the Harvard Business Review, “What Your Youngest Employees Need the Most Right Now” (link embedded),

“For more than a decade, researchers have noted an alarming trend: Gen Z reports higher levels of anxiety and depression than other generations. Studies also tell us that childhood exposure to significant stress can impact brain development and affect mental and social development. ”

This heightened anxiety is real, not an excuse. It’s the norm in their life experience. Smartphone is both a great advantage but it also is always with them. These crises of yesterday and today are in their pocket delivered often in their social media and news alert feeds. This device is also where communication with their friends occurs most often too.  Now consider that these events were blended with their friendships during their formative years.

So what can employers do?

The good news is plenty and it’s not difficult to achieve. Acknowledging their core concern, stability, and the anxiety that surrounds it is the place to start.  We are not psychologists, but we do know what Career Minded, competitive Gen-Zer’s are seeking and asking for.

  1. Skills that are meaningful in the workplace. Seems they instinctively know their learning environments haven’t really helped here. To a Gen-Zer skills that matter are their stability in an economy that they expect to let them down for extended periods and send them out looking for new jobs. They can take these skills with them.
  2. Opportunities to strengthen their mental health. This can come in many forms, from in-house or video one-on-one or group discussions. Unexpected half-days to catch up on their interests away from work. Even group projects can help reduce the anxiety of solo projects.
  3. Financial Stability. We all want this. But perhaps not in the way Gen-Zer’s want it. What they want are the tools to control their financial lives.  This is not only salary or earnings. It includes a knowledge of financial planning and personal budgeting – which amazingly is rarely part of their learning experiences.

We will cover each of these subjects in depth on future posts. If you want to learn more about theses solutions now, contact us by chat or set up a demo to speak about the smartphone based business courses and skills certifications we offer. We look forward to your comments and questions.

Thanks for Reading, CareerNet