On behalf of Born This Way Foundation and Indeed, Benenson Strategy Group conducted 1,200 online interviews (from February 24 to March 1, 2022) with 18-29 year olds who are currently or soon-to-be employed across the United States. The survey included oversamples of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ individuals. The following report shares insights directly from young people about the importance of kind workplaces and access to mental health resources, and reveals respondents want to work for employers who publicly value kindness and mental health.
- Gen Z and young millennials prioritize mental health and kindness at work, but believe many employers don’t offer adequate support systems. Despite an overwhelming majority (89%) of young workers seeing mental health and kindness as high priorities in the workplace, only 32% of employees work in environments where paid personal or mental health days are provided. Nearly three-quarters of respondents say they struggle to get mental health help due to cost and not knowing what will be useful. Only half of the young people surveyed reported having health insurance that covers mental health care.
- Creating a kind workplace can help employers recruit applicants in a difficult job market. The vast majority of respondents (77%) were more likely to apply for a job posting that listed ‘kindness’ as an important value of the company. This research is particularly timely in the midst of the Great Resignation in which a record number of Americans are quitting their jobs as employers struggle to figure out how to improve worker retention.
- Young people want and need stronger pay and benefits. Young people are juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet. More than a third of young people work two or more jobs. Young Black and LGBTQ+ workers are even more likely to have to work multiple jobs (over 40%), and having a college degree seems to make no difference on the need to have multiple sources of income (34%). More than 7 in 10 respondents reported not being able to pay is a barrier to accessing mental health services. They also report wanting health insurance that covers mental health care and coverage for or access to therapists or mental health experts.
- Young workers aren’t seeing meaningful change in the workplace despite stressors exacerbated by the pandemic. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the majority of respondents report experiencing no change, or even less focus, on the following serious concerns: physical health care (61%), mental health care (67%), fostering a kind workspace (72%), and diversity, equity, and inclusion (74%).
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