Computicket has announced the launch of its new self-service platform Box Office that lets organizers of small events sell tickets. The launch of the…
As South Africa celebrates Youth Day, a local fintech start-up found that younger employees are generally happier at work than their older peers. In fact, if the young ones are happy, your bottom line will smile too.
Andisa Liba, chief people officer at Floatpays, says their recent state of employee wellbeing barometer shows that employees aged 18 to 24 generally rate their work environment better than older colleagues.
Yet, in order to maintain a productive workforce and profitable business, employers must understand what drives employee wellbeing throughout the employee lifecycle and adapt accordingly.
“High performing teams are high-belonging teams, so it’s important that employers foster a sense of belonging amongst everyone in their business,” says Liba.
Global business consultancy Gartner describes a “high-belonging” team as one where all employees within a team perceive the group to be one which fosters acceptance.
“Employees need to feel like they are accepted for who they are in order to perform at their best. Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives aimed at building high-belonging teams should also account for generational differences and organisational hierarchy,” explains Liba.
The inaugural study by Floatpays, an on-demand earned wage access provider and fintech start-up, surveyed workers representing a broad demographic in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, province and monthly household income. The study positions employee wellbeing programmes as a catalyst for change in the country’s labour productivity trajectory.
In terms of age groups, low ratings of the working environment seem to increase with age. Only 4% of 18 to 24 year olds rated their working environment 5 or lower (the lowest ranking), while this figure rose to 20% in the 25 to 34 age group, 22% in the 35 to 44 age group, and 26% in the 45 to 55 age group.
“This may be attributed to the optimism of youth as they begin their working life. Young people, owing to their life stage, have fewer expectations of their workplace because of no or little past experience,” says Liba.
“The key is to understand what is important to young staff in order to prevent them from experiencing dissatisfaction similar to that of their older colleagues down the line.”
‘High-belonging teams’ are important
When asked about the factors that apply to their work environment, 82% of young employees highlighted that “the company encourages togetherness of its members as a team.”
Younger employees, however, are “highly financially stressed” and urgently looking to achieve financial wellness. When asked what they think financial wellness entails, being able to manage within one’s budget, having financial knowledge and having something set aside for emergencies came out as the top three descriptions.
Liba believes this demonstrates the need to equip younger employees with financial know-how early on in their working lives in order to reduce financial stress, and its destructive impact on productivity, later on.
“Equipping young employees with the knowledge and tools to manage their money well at the point they begin earning goes a long way in entrenching positive financial behaviours that will help them maintain financial wellness throughout their lives. This in turn reduces levels of financial stress, which has a direct positive impact on productivity and the business bottom line,” says Liba.
Furthermore, the Floatpays study found that supporting young employees’ financial wellbeing secures a better future for employers.
“When asked what would be most useful in improving their financial stress, young employees emphasised being financially prepared for an emergency (92%) and being educated on how to manage their money better (80%),” explains Liba.
The overwhelming majority of young respondents stated that having their employer’s support in building their financial wellbeing would change their attitude to work (85%); shift their views on management and leadership (85%); improve their productivity at work (91%); and contribute positively to their physical and mental health (86%).
“It is up to employers, the HR fraternity, and employees to take the next step towards the continued evolution of employee wellbeing; meeting unmet employee needs; enhancing the work environment for young talent; and lessening the impact and burden of financial stress on employees and businesses,” concludes Liba.