Wellness program choices should factor in generational differences in employee stressors

Despite an improving job market, workers are still experiencing high levels of stress, according to the 2016 ComPsych® StressPulse® Report, and that’s something employers should keep in mind when designing wellness and employee assistance programs (EAPs). Looking across three different age groups – Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers – the report revealed Millennials have the highest rates of anxiety and depression, and GenX employees have the highest rate of relationship issues.

“Employees of different age groups have very different causes of stress,” said Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz,
Founder, Chairman and CEO of ComPsych. “Employers should take this into consideration when communicating what support services are available, such as employee assistance and work-life programs. In addition, access to EAP services should be provided in a variety of ways – including chat, apps, online resources and phone – in order to meet the needs of various age groups, and provide resources in the manner they prefer.”

Key findings from the StressPulse Report include the following:

1) Seven point two percent of Millennials have reported issues of depression, the highest among the three generational groups.
2) Generation X workers are focused on raising children and providing for their families, with 19.6 percent of GenXers having relationship problems as their top presenting issue, the highest rate among the age groups.
3) Baby Boomers experience more stress due to loss of friends and family with the highest rate of bereavement issues at 5 percent.
4) Overall, 92 percent of employees have either high levels of stress with extreme fatigue/feeling out of control (60 percent) or constant but manageable stress levels (32 percent).

Financial stress. Implementing a financial wellness program should perhaps at the top of many employers’ “To Do” lists. ComPsych reports that, when asked what their biggest cause of stress at home was, 24 percent of employees said “financial issues.” Millennial workers experience the most anxiety of the age groups, due in large part to entering the workforce for the first time and carrying crippling student loan debt.

Twenty-eight percent of employees miss three to six days per year due to stress.

SOURCE: ComPsych press release, October 31, 2016.

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