HR feels Gen X is the most fragile demographic for wellbeing

Out of the different generational groups that make up the UK workforce, HR and employers seem to be most worried about Generation X in regards to their health and wellbeing.

This research was conducted by Group Risk Development (GRiD), the industry body for the group risk protection sector. It found that 40 per cent of HR and employers feel that Gen X suffers more than other demographics in terms of stress and anxiety relating to home life. Such as managing difficult relations and carrying responsibilities.

More than a third (37 per cent) are worried that ill-health related to Gen Xer’s lifestyle is having a negative effect on them. As well as 35 per cent concerned that the generation’s general lack of fitness caused by a non-active life is having a toll on Gen X, again more than any other demographic.

After millennials, Gen X staff is seen to suffer most from stress and anxiety at work and be stressed by finances. Also, second to baby boomers, HR and employers believe Gen X have a high tendency to suffer from chronic health conditions.

Katharine Moxham, the spokesperson for GRiD, said:

Gen X is the group that is least likely to have time to look after themselves properly, and most likely to use bad habits such as smoking, drinking or food to prop themselves up. A strong work ethic means they are split between busy work and home lives and caring responsibilities for children and parents. Still with substantial financial commitments, many will feel that all areas of their lives cause stress and anxiety.

While this is a fairly dire outlook for the employees themselves, it’s not good news for their employers either. If staff need to take time off to recuperate or recover, physical or mentally, it can leave a substantial hole in a business or organisation, as at this stage in their lives, Gen Xers are often key decision makers.

As with every other demographic, it’s just as important that this group is supported holistically, with adequate resources split between their physical health, mental health and financial health. However, a Gen X worker may be the most likely person to duck out of an employee benefits meeting at the last minute or have the least time to log into a company benefits platform, because they are being pulled in a thousand and one directions. Employers need to box clever to ensure this generation receives appropriate, bite-sized information that they’ll find timely, appropriate, relevant and ultimately, able to act upon.

GRiD advises offering Gen X certain employee benefits to help them deal with their everyday lives. Such as finding eldercare or how to deal with childcare issues, such as bullying. In terms of physical health, access to GPs services, physio and rehabilitation.  Mental health first aiders and offering counsel to Gen Xers for mental needs. In addition, financial health assistance such as debt management or financial support in the event of ill-health.

For the purposes of this research, the age ranges for each generation were as follows:

  • Generation Z: 18-23
  • Millennials / Generation Y: 24-42
  • Generation X: 43-54
  • Baby Boomers: 55-73

 

This research was undertaken by Opinium, market research and insight consultancy on behalf of GRiD and asked 500 HR decision makers their opinion.