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The newest study reveals the demands that aren’t being satisfied for your most vulnerable demographic, ranging from belonging to equity.

Now that HR directors are suffering the consequences of the Big Quit, there is a lot of attention on keeping workers and managers. In America alone, four million individuals quit in July!

According to our own study at the Achievers Workforce Institute (AWI), 86 percent of workers, even younger team members, consider searching for work elsewhere at least once a year. We chose to concentrate on some of the reasons why, with a particular emphasis on workers in their early career phases, in order to provide HR directors some insight into how to transform their most at-risk group into a future business safeguard by increasing workplace wellness.

At AWI, we think that businesses should use data to better understand their workers so that organizations and their employees may co-create a sense of meaning and purpose at work. We polled 3,000 people from all across the world on their job happiness, including people of diverse ages, seniority levels, genders, industries, and ethnic origins.

According to junior workers, there are some substantial gaps in the way their demands are fulfilled. Let’s look at it more closely.

The disparity in well-being

While many leaders feel they are rewarding workers for their positive actions, younger team members may not see it that way. In reality, AWI discovered a significant gap.

In particular, 36 percent of C-suite respondents feel workers are rewarded for taking care of their health, compared to just 12 percent of junior individual contributors who believe they are rewarded.

What can HR executives do to address the gap if there’s a misconception that junior employees are getting the sort of wellness care they require? We highlight belonging, stress, and equality as essential aspects in this article, and provide recommendations and guidelines for enhancing junior employee welfare at work.

It starts with a sense of belonging

When measuring how demands for work satisfaction, engagement, and belonging to a cohort are satisfied, job level is an essential issue to examine. Junior team members, like everyone else, will have varied demands in terms of career planning, work-life balance, and coaching.

Only 15% of junior contributors, on the other hand, have a strong feeling of belonging. This is much lower than the national average of 26% and the lowest of all categories, putting junior contributors at the most risk of not feeling like they belong.

That’s a crucial understanding for HR directors to understand.

“At my company, I have a strong sense of belonging.”

To comprehend the nuances of this large disparity in the belonging gap, we must first comprehend what constitutes belonging. Five key pillars of belonging were found in AWI’s Belonging at Work Culture Report: feeling welcomed, recognized, included, supported, and linked.

Junior contributions regularly have the lowest percentages in all five categories, according to the statistics. This is fantastic fresh information that must not be overlooked.

This group of workers is 23% less likely to feel known, 30% less likely to feel appreciated, and up to 41% less likely to have a supportive boss. With just 10% feeling that DEI efforts are meeting their demands and only 14% believing that their compensation is comparable to others at their level, it’s no surprise that 86 percent consider searching for work elsewhere.

Furthermore, 27% claim they have never been acknowledged, which we know is a critical motivator of belonging based on studies.

In the end, just 16 percent of junior individual contributors are highly engaged in relation to their lack of belonging. Focus on the pillars of belonging to really encompass your junior-level workers into the fold of your business, and make sure you’re doing a fantastic job of greeting, knowing, including, supporting, and connecting with them.

In AWI’s Belonging at Work Culture Report, you’ll find a checklist to help you on your way to ensuring junior team members feel like they’re a valuable part of the organization.

Deal with the issue of stress

Senior executives, according to our data, are the most likely to be healthy, but they are also the most likely to have taken stress leave. C-suite executives, in particular, are almost twice as likely as junior independent contributors to report they are physically and emotionally sound, as well as to have taken stress leave.

Our study revealed that although junior employees are exactly as likely as the general population to experience stress, they are less likely to feel capable of handling it or taking time off work — and are less likely to claim they have a healthy work-life balance. Tools and assistance for stress management must be easily accessible.

If there isn’t a clear answer to what causes stress in the workplace, how can companies solve it? Introducing a stress management training session or a quarterly stress management speaker are two quick actions you may take.

For a longer-term approach, the experts at Achievers have compiled a list of the top 5 projects that HR professionals should start implementing right now to help individuals in the early phases of their careers have a better future.

1. Employees should be questioned and action taken

Ask workers about their stress levels and what they need, and then make adjustments based on their responses. Employees who felt their boss responded to their input were 17 percent less anxious.

Only 18% of workers believe their company does this. In terms of pressures and requirements, your workers are experts, so take use of their knowledge and experience.

2. Keep an eye on workloads

Workload is a significant source of stress. Monitor to-do lists and ad hoc requests that are adding to duties without providing strategic value to ensure that your workers’ workloads are reasonable.

Allow workers to refuse jobs if they would make them work longer hours or handle too many projects. “If a new task is taken on this week, what can we postpone to next week or month?” is one example of a helpful way to frame new requests. ”

3. Downtime should be encouraged

True downtime is essential for stress reduction and burnout prevention. Allow employees to disconnect outside of business hours by making it clear that they are not expected to respond to emails or messages received after hours.

Encourage employees to take vacation time and set a good example for work-life balance. When managers and senior executives take time off and turn off their phones, it sends a good message to staff, allowing them to do the same.

4. Ensure that roles are clearly defined

Lack of clarity about roles and duties is one of the leading causes of stress. Fear, uncertainty, doubt, and stress levels rise when it is unclear what an employee is liable and accountable for, or what goals they are being evaluated on.

Maintain current job descriptions and precise goals, and make it simple for workers to ask questions regarding their roles and duties.

5. Reduce ambiguity by communicating

Finally, to decrease regions of ambiguity, ensure that there is abundant, accurate communication. As the epidemic persists and firms adapt to new modes of working, many workers’ stress levels remain high.

During times of stress, communication may be a significant driver of workplace resilience. To lessen both uncertainty and the stress that comes with it, communicate regularly, clearly, and honestly about the issues and solutions that the organization is working on.

It’s crucial to remember that, regardless of employment level or position, stress is a relative experience with negative consequences. Senior leaders have greater accountability and duty, but they also have years of expertise to assist them deal with the demands of the position.

Junior employees need greater assistance. Organizations have a duty to take better care of employees at all levels, whether it’s notifying them of the choice to take leave if required or mentoring them to help them improve stress management skills.

It comes to a conclusion with a profit

Employees who have a strong feeling of belonging are more than twice as likely to believe that they have the same opportunities as others and that their pay is comparable to others in their position. Remember that folks who lack a feeling of belonging at work may be affected by a variety of circumstances.

Those who are in the early phases of their careers may also belong to one or more stigmatized groups. A combination of supports is sometimes necessary.

Include workers with disabilities in progressive accessibility projects to help them.
With one out of every five workers claiming a handicap, assisting this group in the workplace is critical to achieving greater company results.

To provide greater assistance, build an atmosphere that is free of unconscious prejudice and ableist terminology, and consider implementing sensitivity training for all workers, particularly team leaders.

Ensure that the workplace is both physically and virtually accessible, and that you are discrete but not clandestine. Make modifications more commonplace without making a show of them, and work with handicapped employees to keep peers informed.

Also, include impacted groups in policy formulation and solicit input from all employees using surveys, anonymous Q&A sessions, chatbots, and other employee-voice platforms to collect data on difficulties and possibilities to enhance working conditions for all employees.

Make sure women feel accepted and connected — it’s vital to their well-being.
Women gain less than men on wellbeing variables, according to our study, showing that firms need to enhance how they satisfy women’s needs in the workplace.

So, what can companies do to help women feel more at ease and a feeling of belonging at work?

To begin, make them feel sincerely welcomed. Feeling accepted at work is especially important to women, according to our research, with two-thirds believing it helps to their overall happiness.

Another important factor that contributes to women’s feeling of belonging and well-being is connection. In fact, 51% of women viewed having great professional relationships and friendships as very important.

When compared to males, women are 24 percent less likely to have been acknowledged by their boss in the previous week. Managers should be educated on the value of meaningful appreciation so that they are aware of their role in retaining female junior staff.

Recognize that BIPOC workers want to work from home

Respondents who identified as members of a racial minority group were about a third more stressed than the general population. Employers should pay particular attention to equality in terms of workloads and other work-related stressors.

BIPOC respondents place a high importance on work-from-home opportunities. This group is 25% more likely to indicate they would hunt for a new job if they couldn’t work from home.

This is more than any other group that was polled. According to Bloomberg, in 2021, Black workers were 55 percent more likely than in 2020 to believe they were treated properly at work.

Microaggression reduction and improved capacity to establish limits at work, according to experts consulted for the piece, might be some of the causes involved.

Although workload and work-from-anywhere alternatives are vital to consider, it’s also critical to get more specific input directly from your workers in order to uncover even more strategies to assist BIPOC junior employees’ performance in the workplace.

Cultivate a real inclusion culture with and for LGBTQ+ workers

LGBTQ+ employees reported somewhat greater stress levels than the general population (56 percent vs. 48 percent), but were far less likely to feel capable of handling that stress. They were also 55 percent more likely than the general population to have taken stress leave.

Aside from stress, LGBTQ+ employees ranked feeling included as the most important aspect in their job satisfaction. Introduce particular diversity and inclusion training, build inclusive policies, use inclusive language, ask for input and act on it, and encourage employee resource groups to create a friendly atmosphere (ERG).

Achievers Proud, an ERG that guarantees Achievers maintains a forward-thinking, inclusive, and safe workplace for all LGBTQ+ workers, contributed to this advise. It’s important advice for creating a truly inclusive atmosphere for junior workers who identify as LGBTQ+.

You’re well on your path to happiness

Employers are actively investing in the future of excellent employee welfare by concentrating on enhancing circumstances for younger individual contributors. Reducing stress, absenteeism, and turnover is a great strategy to convert your most vulnerable group into a future corporate asset.

Thanks to Leanne O’Brien at Business 2 Community whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.