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  • Writer's pictureAmi Kassar

AmiSight 5/3: Younger Workers Are Disengaged – How Can We Fix It?

Remember the good old days—before the pandemic—when younger workers could be counted on for their positivity and eagerness to learn?

Well, it turns out that they have become just about as disengaged as their older counterparts.

A Business Insider article looks at possible reasons why, from 2019 to 2022, the share of workers under 35 who reported being engaged with their jobs dropped from 37% to 33%, according to Gallup surveys.

Workers in their 20s and early 30s are reporting a decreasing sense of feeling cared about, having opportunities to learn and grow, and feeling they have a voice.

There are several factors contributing to this, nearly all relating to how the pandemic changed the work landscape.

While it seems that working from home would be ideal for any worker, younger generations would rather not be away from the office and isolated 100% of the time. In fact, only 24% of those in their 20s want to work from home full-time, compared with 41% of those in their 50s and early 60s.

At this point in their careers, they need that face-to-face mentorship rather than learning through online messages. That lack of in-person interactions also results in unclear expectations, which can lead to anxiety for a younger employee just entering the professional workplace.

Ironically, the fast fix isn’t to enforce the rigid requirement of coming to the office at all times. Younger workers still appreciate the flexibility of a hybrid schedule.

They also appreciate perks that make coming to the office worthwhile, such as paid parking and subway fares, more space for people to collaborate and socialize, and flexible start and end times.

Having a say in all aspects of the business and having the opportunity to talk to managers one-on-one will also boost engagement among younger workers.

The quicker we nip this disengagement of younger workers in the bud, the quicker we recover from the pandemic and grow our businesses and workforce.

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