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Millennial Generation Most Stressed-Out

Stressed-Out Millennials

I recently spoke with the VP of Human Resources of a San Francisco Bay Area company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She also was curious to know how I could help their different generation leaders collaborate to achieve team goals.

The VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on the latest neuroscience research is an important competency for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a culture where innovation flourishes.

The VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping company executives improve their ability to work effectively with the millennial generation. We further discussed how high performing company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership development expert.

Millennial Generation Values

We can identify several differences in values. The new generation of workers has:

  1. A work ethic that no longer respects or values 10-hour workdays
  2. An easily attained competence in new technologies and a facility to master even newer ones with little discomfort
  3. Tenuous to nonexistent loyalty to any organization
  4. Changed priorities for lifetime goals achievable by employment

The most significant changes in perspective involve time, technology and loyalty. Millennialsare more stressed than other generational cohorts.

Millennials and Stress Survey

Millennials are more stressed than any other current living generation, according to a new survey conducted by the American Psychological Association Stress in America Survey. The online survey, titled "Stress in America,"included 2,020 adults in the U.S. who were 18 or older.

Overall, millennials -- defined by coordinators as anyone between the ages of 18 to 33 -- reported that they had a stress level of 5.4 out of 10. The researchers generally considered a stress level of 3.6 to be healthy. The numbers are also surprising because overall stress has declined across the country from 5.2 out of 10 in 2011 to 4.9 in 2012.

"Millennials are growing up at a tough time. They were sheltered in many ways, with a lot of high expectations for what they should achieve. Individual failure is difficult to accept when confronted with a sense you're an important person and expected to achieve. Even though, in most instances, it's not their fault -- the economy collapsed just as many of them were getting out of college and coming of age -- that does lead to a greater sense of stress," Mike Hais, a market researcher and co-author of two books on millennials including including 2011's "Millennial Momentum," told USA Today.

More millennials reported they had depression (19 percent) compared to 14 percent of adults between 34 and 47 -- from "Generation X" -- and 12 percent of adults between 48 to 66 -- "Baby Boomers" -- in addition to 11 percent of seniors 67 and older. Same went for anxiety disorders: 12 percent of millennials surveyed had been diagnosed, compared to 8 percent of Gen. Xers, 7 percent of boomers and 4 percent of the oldest age group.

Millennials in particular said work (76 percent), money (73 percent) and relationships (59 percent) stressed them out most. The Los Angeles Timespointed out that millennials might feel stressed overall because their unemployment rate is 13.1 percent, compared to the overall nationwide average of 7.8 percent.

For everyone of all ages, the most common source of stress was money (69 percent), work (65 percent), the economy (61 percent) and relationships (56 percent). Work, money and job stability were biggest culprits behind anxiety for the 18 to 47 crowd while personal or familial health caused anxiety in those 48 and older.

Questions to Ask Millennials

How can leaders harness a multigenerational work force’s skills? What is required to lead young people who believe Boomers are outdated and out of touch?

Leaders should ask themselves the following questions:

  1. What do my employees want from their jobs, bosses and work experience?
  2. How do salary, benefits and promotion opportunities affect loyalty?
  3. How do my direct reports define themselves? How do one’s job and the company enter into this equation?
  4. Do my newer workers believe in paying their dues for a given time period, or are they motivated by challenges and self-fulfillment right from the very beginning?
  5. How self-sufficient are my younger workers? Are they still living at home? How much are they committed to their jobs as their only means of support?

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders in all generational cohorts? Sustainable leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Does our company providing coaching to help millennial employees manage stress?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their leadership development programs.

Working with a seasoned cognitive executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help millennial employees become more stress resilient. Millennials can become future leaders who model emotional intelligence and social intelligence. It is important to inspire people in all generational cohorts to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

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