April 20, 2021

Helping Employees Cope With Change

Change is hard.  The pandemic has forced change that can leave employees feeling stressed and overwhelmed, causing strong emotions.  In an era where a hybrid workforce has become the norm, how do you build flexible workplace strategies while addressing the generational impacts of COVID-19 on your staff?

Employees from all generations agree the pandemic has affected their physical, mental, social and financial well-being.  Add to that challenge the fact that there has been a 50% increase in complaints to HR.  All employees have experienced pain points over the past year relating to their well-being and work-life balance.  Employers must identify and understand the distinct needs of different generations of employees and how to address them.


  • Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964, ages 56-74)
    • Most at risk for health concerns
    • Less financial issues related to COVID-19 than other generations
    • Less likely to work at home than other generations
    • 33% are struggling to set boundaries at work, leading to unhappiness
    • 42% cite lack of casual office interactions have made them less happy at work

Helping Baby Boomers Cope:

  • Manage any necessary transition to remote work by:
    • Regular communication
    • Provide resources to create a comfortable and functional workplace
    • Help them battle social isolation


  • Generation X (born 1965-1980, ages 40-55)
    • 54% worry about about contracting the virus
    • Financial strain from retirement savings, children’s college tuition
    • 51% say their work-life balance is better now than before the pandemic because of working remotely

Helping Generation X Cope:

  • Provide flexible work environments, implement a remote work policy if able
  • Provide resources for financial wellness


  • Millennials (born 1981-1996, ages 24-39)
    • 52% have put off medical care during COVID-19 because of cost
    • 6 of the top 10 conditions affecting millennials are behavioral conditions impacting mental and emotional well-being
    • Economic fallout of COVID-19 has had an adverse affect on finances that were already considerably less than previous generations at the same life stages

Helping Millennials Cope:

  • Provide resources for telehealth and virtual visits
  • Offer emotional support and resources for dealing with depression, anxiety, social isolation, financial insecurity


  • Generation Z (born after 1996, ages 18-23)
    • Concerned about contracting virus and spreading it to loved ones
    • Already the most anxious generation; pandemic has only intensified the issue
    • Most practical and frugal generation; avoiding debt
    • 52% live with parents

Helping Generation Z Cope:

  • Adopt a company culture that address mental health in the workplace
  • Provide resources for telehealth and virtual visits
  • Offer emotional support and resources for dealing with depression, anxiety, social isolation, financial insecurity


The coping strategies recommended span across all generations.  It is important to recognize and cater to the differences in employees’ needs.  Employees across all generations are 42% more likely to remain with an employer if the company offers benefits that meet their needs.

Support the well being of your employees.

Look for guidance from an advisor who helps you tackle your unique challenges.


(Information and statistics provided by MetLife and The Wellmark Foundation)

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