- Many Black and Indigenous youth, LGBTQ+ professionals and workers of color are drawn to companies that value friendliness, generosity and courtesy, an Indeed report revealed. The job site conducted a study with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way foundation, wherein 77% of respondents said they were more likely to apply for an open role that mentioned ‘kindness’ in the job listing. Their study tapped 1,200 people aged 18 to 29, with an oversample of queer youth and BIPOC, for their opinions on and lived experiences around workplaces and access to wellness resources.
- Additionally, the report revealed that while 89% of respondents said that mental health awareness and kindness are their top priorities in the workplace, only half of them had health insurance covering mental health care and only 32% worked for companies providing paid personal days.
- More than 70% of respondents told Indeed that the cost of mental health resources prevented them from pursuing necessary medical care.
The dearth of access to mental health resources is a top-to-bottom diversity, equity and inclusion issue. Not only do young people lack the compensation and benefits to take care of their mental health amid coronavirus, socio-political conflicts and the demands of pandemic-era work — which have resulted in wide-spread burnout and Generation Z career anxiety, but Indeed and Born This Way’s data suggests that employers in the U.S. have largely failed BIPOC and queer youth in the workforce.
Across the board, young workers are stressed out, exhausted and have narrow hopes for their professional futures. According to HR experts, the companies that publicly acknowledge these concerns and conjure up concrete solutions can score big with Gen Z or late Millennial talent acquisition.
LinkedIn’s 2022 Workforce Confidence Index showed how young professionals are leading the Great Resignation charge: compared to 56% of job-hunting baby boomers, 76% of Gen Zers said they’re seeking companies with better compensation and benefits. Compared to 47% of baby boomers, 80% of Gen Zers said they’re seeking workplaces in closer alignment with their interests and values.
A 2021 report from networking platform Tallo also confirmed this phenomenon: 87% of Gen Zers said workplace DEI isn’t just important but “very” important to them. Speaking to the intersection of mental health and diversity in the workplace, about 1 in 5 Gen Zers surveyed passed on applying for an open role because the company lacked resources for neurodivergent workers; additionally, 80% of respondents said they’re more likely to join a company offering neurodivergent employee support.
Acknowledging how the pandemic catalyzed burnout, many companies have offered an array of innovative mental health benefits. Last summer saw a wave of highly publicized “burnout breaks” from companies like Bumble, LinkedIn and HubSpot. EY rolled out broad wellness stipends, wherein the company would pay up to $1,000 of self-care expenses (fitness equipment, kitchen appliances, airfare and lodging) for employees and their families. Some employers offered more support in a simple but effective way: beefing up existing benefits packages.
If anything can be gleaned from the above studies, it’s that mental health and burnout aren’t just buzzwords being tossed around. They’re key areas of concern for companies that want to attract diverse, high-performing talent.