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The hidden absenteeism of Generation Z is a major concern for managers

The hidden absenteeism of Generation Z is a major concern for managers

Employees under the age of 30 (Generation Z) have twice as many frequent absences due to illness, compared to their older colleagues.

This is demonstrated by Feelgood's Health, Work Environment and Lifestyle (HALU) surveys.

It's also difficult to explain the reasons for Gen Z's frequent short-term absences, according to the Occupational Health 2024 report.

Risk factors are generally no more common in young people than in older people.

“It has a lot to do with the stress and tension in life that young people experience by many measures. It could be to do with mental illness, which seems to be on the rise.” Charlotte Valskogchief psychologist at Feelgood.

“For employers and managers, it is important to consider how young people experience meaning, engagement and impact at work – we know this is a central health factor and young people do not have it to the same extent,” she adds.

6 tips for leading Generation Z

  1. Get to know your employees. Watch and listen to your young employees, preferably in one-on-one conversations. In order to lead and on-board them, you often need to get to know them more deeply than your older employees. They are a generation that “shares” their feelings, and you as a leader must embrace that.
  2. Feedback, feedback, feedback! Provide as much constructive and positive feedback as possible. Encourage them to give you feedback as a leader to create commitment and a sense of ownership.
  3. Lead with your heart – and with your whole hand. Private lives often follow young people into the workplace, so it is important to acknowledge this while simultaneously clarifying what applies in the workplace. Commitment to their person with clear frameworks.
  4. Be clear about what applies. Many of them come straight from school and sometimes do not have the knowledge necessary to function in the workplace. Clarity on how to behave, what is expected of you, for example what are valid reasons for sick leave, is welcomed by employees and is good for the company.
  5. Delegation of responsibility. The feeling that you are developing and have a clear goal gives energy and self-confidence. Don't be afraid to delegate responsibility to younger employees. Inspiring, training and guiding them in their work.
  6. Create security. Being clear about what an employee is expected to do at work creates safety, reducing stress and ill health. The chances of solving the right task in the right way also increase.
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Source: Feelgood Occupational Health Report 2024

About the survey

The Feelgood Health, Work Environment and Lifestyle (HALU) Survey is a strategic health tool for mapping workplaces and entire organizations on an individual-level basis. In 2023, approximately 19,500 people responded to the HALU program.