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coaching for resilience: why it matters for 4 workplace generations.

coaching for resilience: why it matters for four workplace generations

We exist in a time when change seems our only constant. Those who are able to persevere through unprecedented challenges will be the ones who thrive.

Today, four generations work side by side in the workplace. What it takes for each generation to achieve resilience in the face of change may look and mean something different. 

Worklife coaching provides a constant that can help any employee get there, regardless of their generation.

#1—gen z— resilience elevates truth

gen z— resilience elevates truth

According to McKinsey, Gen Z is a generation that seeks truth and authenticity in themselves and others.

  • Value individual expression 
  • Mobilize for causes
  • Believe in the efficacy of dialogue to solve conflicts 

Gen Z strives to attain a meaningful and supportive worklife—one they’re willing to look for either elsewhere in the company or in the broader job market.

  • 75% of Gen Z sees a move within their current organization as at least probable (RiseSmart).
  • 42% of Gen Z would rather be at a company that gives them a sense of purpose than one that pays more. 
  • 56% of Gen Z would leave their job if it interfered with their personal lives.
  • 32% of Gen Z are considering a move to another organization in the next 12 months (RiseSmart).

For Gen Z, resilience means staying true to who they are in the midst of challenge. Employee coaching is an effective tool for building this type of resilience—one Gen Z recognizes and embraces. 

  • 46% of Gen Z said they feel stressed or anxious. 
  • 48% of Gen Z has significant enthusiasm for employer-sponsored coaching (RiseSmart).
  • 9% of those surveyed are self-funding their coaching, as their employer hasn’t supported them—nearly 20% of Gen Z workers are financing their coaching experiences entirely on their own (RiseSmart).

Coaching for resilience could focus on: 

  • Developing tactics to minimize workday distractions and improve concentration. 
  • Finding a mentor to help grow leadership skills in an area of future interest.
  • Creating a plan to ensure that mental health is a priority by exploring different work hours, setting timers for breaks, and not checking emails or slacks after hours.

#2—millennials—resilience heightens career flexibility

millennials—resilience heightens career flexibility

As LinkedIn highlights, millennials are a generation of wonder and determination.

  • Multitasking pros with many responsibilities
  • Comfortable with, and prefer, connection
  • Tech-savvy by nature (and nurture)
  • Most curious generation in the workforce

This generation may be most wary of layoffs, stemming from the Great Recession, which occurred as they entered the workforce. Stability and trust are important, but so is striking a balance between life inside and outside of work. . 

  • 78% of millennials say they would switch jobs — even if the same salary were offered — for a better balance of life both inside and outside work. 
  • 54% of older millennials (33-40) are considering a move to another organization in the next 12 months (RiseSmart).
  • 20% of millennials say finding a more fulfilling job would play most into their decision to leave their current job. 
  • 29% chose their new jobs because of the learning and development opportunities offered and 39% for the work/life balance.
  • 17% of millennials left their jobs because they felt the job was detrimental to their mental health and 14% because they were feeling burnt out.

For millennials, resilience in today’s challenging environment means being invested in, and having employers invest in, building skills to weather career shifts. They believe employee coaching can deliver benefits to that end. 

  • 41% of young millennials (25-32) and 50% of older millennials show significant enthusiasm for employer-sponsored coaching (RiseSmart).
  • Older millennials have the strongest positive take on what a coach could bring to their career: 83% say it will be very or extremely valuable for them (RiseSmart).

Coaching for resilience could focus on:

  • Strategies for coping with the worklife stress of taking care of a family while dealing with work responsibilities.
  • Tips for overcoming tension with a particular coworker or team member to facilitate better collaboration and project success.
  • Ideas for navigating a new type of project, from developing ideas to execution.

#3—gen x—resilience redefines relevance

gen x—resilience redefines relevance

According to Britannica, Gen X is a generation built on perseverance and problem-solving.

  • Resourceful by need
  • Independent by nature
  • Dedicated to work-life balance
  • And, according to others, adaptable and entrepreneurial

Gen Xers hold much of the intellectual capital for an organization. And they want more from their organizations in return. They are loyal, but they are stressed. Growth and career mobility must be on the table, along with tools to help them pivot to maximize their potential.

  • What’s important? For 39% it’s the ability to make a difference in the organization; for 15% it’s development opportunities.
  • “Successful Gen Xers know they must continue to evolve to stay relevant.” It’s no surprise, then, that 50% of Gen X has expectations of a potential move – and progress – within their current organization (RiseSmart). 
  • 51% of Gen X is considering a move to another organization in the next 12 months (RiseSmart).
  • 22% of Gen Xers have admitted to daily struggles with stress.  

For Gen X, resilience is at the core of all they do. But in the workforce, being resilient means having the emotional and intellectual intelligence to remain steadfast in the face of challenges. Coaching provides one-on-one support to continue navigating shifting work waters. 

  • 38% of Gen X is enthusiastic for employer-sponsored coaching.
  • Gen X is not prepared to settle for career inertia and is open to a coaching intervention.

Coaching for resilience could focus on:

  • Stress management to help balance the challenges of taking care of aging parents and raising children at the same time.
  • Strategies for building soft skills that would allow for a transition into a new role within the company, or for a promotion to an advanced role.
  • Financial planning changes to consider now that retirement is closer than you think. 

#4—baby boomers—resilience promotes growth

baby boomers—resilience promotes growth

As highlights, the Baby Boomer generation brings professionalism and resourcefulness in spades.

  • Strong work ethic engrained from the start
  • Self-assuredness born of turbulent times
  • Goal-oriented mindset
  • Discipline born of structured upbringing

Baby Boomers may be nearing retirement, but that doesn’t discount their desire to be valued and grow. Many are still in the workforce, so the workforce must still work for them. In a meaningful way.

  • In 2018, 29% of Boomers ages 65 to 72 were working or looking for work. 
  • 79% of workers 57 to 75-years old would rather be semi-retired than leave the workforce entirely.
  • 40% of Baby Boomers have expectations of a potential move—and progress—within their current organization.  

For Baby Boomers, resilience equates to adaptability. In their lifetime, they’ve come through the other side of countless challenging times. Today’s world and its constant change present more obstacles. But coaching can help this workforce generation uncover new passions, contribute in new ways, and continue reaching worklife goals.

Coaching for resilience could focus on:

  • How to better adjust to flexible, technology-based working arrangements like remote and hybrid work, or non-traditional 9-5 hours.
  • Identifying learning courses or trainings that can expand existing skills, whether that be around technology, public speaking, or project management.
  • Determining new and creative ways to put knowledge and skills to use—looking for new roles where tangential skills would be a good fit, uncovering mentoring or consulting opportunities, or exploring partnering with workers in other areas of the company to share knowledge.

multiple generations, one solution to bolster resilience 

No organization can afford to dismiss any generation's appetite for career development. Without support, employees may become frustrated, disenfranchised, and either “quiet quit” or leave the business. Coaching can help elevate engagement and purpose across the generations, but only if an inclusive approach is taken that gives all employees the hope of further career mobility versus the prospect of career stagnation. Try one of our tips or strategies from this list to boost the effectiveness of coaching for resilience for each generation in your organization.