I think this is interesting in a couple of different ways. Clearly, workers are putting a much higher value on their own mental health, and companies that don’t get that, and support it, are going to end up having quite a bit of turnover.
But, the other thing that I wanted to think more about was what those specific reasons say about the mental health of Millennial and Gen Z workers. They seem to be dealing with a lot of stress around finances, and having that stress impact their mental health. Is that new? Or is it more likely that Gen X and Boomers have had those same stresses, but didn’t really identify them as mental health issues, like anxiety.
I think there’s something to that. Not to start talking about how things were “back in my day”, but I don’t recall anyone talking about anxiety in the same way we talk about it now. I suspect that many of us had anxiety around finances, we just didn’t call it that, and our solution to that anxiety was, of course, to work harder and longer.
And guess what? The next generations watched us do that, especially the Baby Boomers, and realized that it doesn’t actually work. Our mental health has sucked, for years, and we just didn’t admit it. They are willing to talk about it, and look for work that fits with lessening stress, especially stress that is related to finances.
Now, you would think that if they had more stress around finances, they would also just “work harder and longer”, but that assumes that the relationship between employers and employees is the same as it was 25-30 years ago, and it’s just not. Companies come and go now overnight. They run out to hire when things are growing, and rush to fire when things are not growing. Whole industries barely exist anymore. None of us live in the same work world that we grew up in any more.