New research shows that the biggest drop in workplace wellbeing is being seen in Kiwis aged 25-34, and are potentially the most likely to leave their current employment.

The Skills Consulting Group Work Wellbeing Index surveyed more than 1800 New Zealand workers, revealing millennials have dropped nine points since the inaugural Work Wellbeing Index report was released in 2021 – and of the 390 millennials asked, 42% were very likely to look for a new job in 2022.

The Index points to the significant risk employers are facing as the long-term impact of Covid, rising living costs, and offers from overseas recruiters take hold.

Millennial respondents revealed that almost half of employers did not have any structures or programmes in place to ensure their wellbeing at work was being cared for (down 8% on 2021), that more than a third of companies they worked for did not enable them to care for their own wellbeing (down 11%) and 53% of employers did not provide them with wellbeing solutions that were specific to them (down 10%).

Jane Kennelly

“Millennial misery needs to be addressed now and if it isn’t, companies will start to see the impact on their bottom line as they struggle to find good people and their recruitment costs spiral,” says Jane Kennelly, GM Wellbeing, Skills Consulting Group.

“It’s clear that millennials are looking for more than just a pay rise. The research shows their need for recognition, flexibility to meet their changing life stage and a growing desire to be in a role they see as worthwhile.

“All of this speaks to the rise of OK-nomics – the concept that staff will stay if they are OK, be more productive and deliver to the bottom line if their wellbeing needs are met. If they aren’t, they’ll leave.”

The research is clear about what drives wellbeing for millennials – and where cracks are forming. The Index identifies ‘Genuine care’ ranking highest of all the wellbeing drivers; but the bad news is that it has dropped in score from 68% to 56% in twelve months.

Wellbeing Drivers for 25–34-Year-Olds Dec 2020 vs Dec 2021

25-34s2022Vs 2021
The company genuinely cares for my wellbeing56%-12%
The company has structures and programmes that ensure my wellbeing at work is cared for53%-8%
My manager genuinely cares for my wellbeing and acts upon it62%-6%
My team members/ colleagues care about my wellbeing66%-6%
The company enables me to care for my own wellbeing62%-11%
The company enables me to care for the wellbeing of others inside and outside the workplace57%-4%
The company sees me as an individual and provides me with wellbeing solutions that are specific to me 47%-10%

The news isn’t all bad, says Kennelly. 

“Knowing the issues points us to solutions. The key is unlocking the wellbeing drivers and instituting changes in your business that deliver on them. 

“I’m not talking about fruit baskets and care packages; I’m talking about systemic change beginning with training managers around wellbeing so they can make a meaningful impact through their teams.

“Managers are not psychologists, and we shouldn’t expect them to be. Managers need the skills to understand and identify wellbeing issues and then be in a position to share access to professional wellbeing programmes if needed.”

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