How to Give Young Employees the Connectedness they Need
There’s a tendency to think that young people are more resilient than their older colleagues – they work long hours without complaint, are less likely to have caring obligations, and are energetic and motivated. And yet, Generation Z – those born after 1994 – are three times more likely than other employees to have sought professional help for stress, burnout or other mental health reasons since the pandemic started.
Young people, especially recent graduates, have had their social lives decimated – and their expectations of work life have been completely upturned. As Meghan Stokes notes, “[Younger] individuals also had to deal with the loss of important events, such as graduation, and a way of life, such as the inability to gather with social networks or go to the gym. … They need a higher level of support.”
Feelings of loneliness and disconnection among young people were already prevalent prior to the pandemic, in part due to individualism and competitive work and educational environments. Now, disconnection is rife for younger employees.
Often, young people are struggling yet are reluctant to show it due to stigma. They might have the sense that everyone else is coping fine, and think, “No one cares”, or “I’m alone in this.”
Many employers and companies are now wondering: how can we ensure that young people feel more connected and engaged at work? How do we prevent isolation, especially among those who are working remotely?
Our experience is showing that WOOSH5 Coaching Circles are proving extremely effective at fostering this much needed connectedness for young people. Being coached in groups together with others helps people feel less alone, and more supported. Their sense of isolation and disconnection is reduced, as they come to understand that they are struggling with the same issues as others around them. Working on issues together in Coaching Circles is a great way to ensure young people feel engaged and connected at work and beyond.
- Builds skills in reflection, listening, reframing, questioning and problem solving
- Deepens trust and collaboration among peers and across departments as people gain a better understanding of the issues, motivations, and intentions of colleagues and stakeholders
- Improves interpersonal support skills such as coaching and offering feedback
- Enhances compassion and adaptability
- Drives individual responsibility for learning and personal development
- Increases interpersonal functioning and connectedness
- Develops leadership and management capabilities
- Builds and accelerates the organization’s learning capacity
- Breaks down silo mentality
- Encourages peer consultation and collaboration