I recently uncovered research conducted by the British Psychological Society that revealed young people feel more stress at work when compared to older employees. Being in the second half of my career it did cause me some pause to consider the role of senior employees in the workplace.
It’s often easy to assume that the younger generation carries less responsibility, gets paid better than ‘we did in our day’, has a more progressive working environment and more opportunities for development. However, with that also comes the sense of feeling more expendable and a 24/7 working climate thanks to technological advancements.
With our ageing population, younger generations are becoming exponentially more important in the workplace and the nation in general. However, what processes and systems are in place to nurture junior staff and help them develop effective stress management strategies?
The role of mentoring and strong management is more significant than ever – young employees today are the future business leaders of tomorrow, and we have an obligation to develop and keep the best talent in an organisation.
An effective mentoring program can help leverage the leadership experience of senior employees and also drive business success or initiatives. Let’s be clear that the role of a mentor is not that of a coach – it is more about providing an opportunity to give professional advice and insights into the corporate culture or to pass on practical support on daily responsibilities. The mentor may share their own experiences to help them avoid making the same mistakes or provide critical insights to the organisation and help the young employee read the events going on around them.
As a Psychologist, I reap the benefits of supervision - having both provided and received throughout the course of my career. It’s given me countless lessons and reframed ways of working or responding in many situations. In the corporate sector, we have a similar opportunity to leverage the wealth of experience and history of our senior employees, and provide our leaders of the future an insight into their tomorrow.
There is a fine line between leadership programs and mentoring, and without doubt the best leaders inspire, educate and influence those around them. Leaders have a vision and the ability to get people around them to buy into that vision and achieve a result. To be an effective mentor there must be leadership, and leadership fosters mentoring.
Implementing a leadership and mentoring program can go quite some way to making younger employees feel more connected, empowered and visible in an organisation.
To complement such programs there is also an opportunity to equip young people with techniques and strategies to manage stress and anxiety in their working lives. EAP programs provide an outlet for employees, but the introduction of corporate wellness programs are becoming an integral part of organisation’s people programs. Incorporate Psychology has a stress management program for organisations with simple and practical tips around: identifying stressors, developing healthy responses, establishing boundaries, taking time to recharge, and managing upwards.
Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress, junior or senior. Any job can have stressful elements but when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelming — and harmful to both physical and emotional health.
The role of mentoring and stress management programs can provide young employees with a framework for development and empowerment and also creates a valuable connection between youth and experience, retaining and capitalising on the best your organisation has to offer.
If you would like to discuss further or find out more about our Corporate Stress Management Program, please contact us on (07) 3852 2441 or click here.