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What Your Youngest Employees Need Most Right Now

Source | hbr.org | Lauren Stiller Rikleen

The long-term toll of the coronavirus is unknown, but its effects on our health care system and the economy have already been catastrophic. And while the immediate concerns of skyrocketing unemployment and a stalled economy must be addressed today, employers also need to begin considering how to rebuild for the employees returning to the workforce — or entering it for the first time.

This includes Gen Z, the youngest members of the workforce and those currently in secondary school or college. Many who were just beginning their career journey have been furloughed or fired. Those in school were suddenly confined to their homes. Collectively, they are experiencing the greatest national trauma since the Great Depression and World War II.

Ultimately, for the workforce to be equipped to move forward and thrive, employers will need to address the fallout resulting from Covid-19 on their youngest — and future — employees. 

How Events Shape Generations

As the Pew Research Center notes, looking at world events and other formative experiences through a generational lens helps provide an understanding of how people’s views of the world are shaped. Young people who grew up during the Great Depression and defended and supported the nation in World War II were coined “The Greatest Generation.” Once past the traumas of these extraordinarily difficult years, this generation shared characteristics that included a patriotism manifested by reverence for American ideals, a belief in the wisdom of government, and a frugality born of severe want.

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