We Need A New Kind Of Business Leader: Why 50% Of Millennial And 75% Of Gen-Z Workers Have Left Jobs

Bernie Wong | Senior Associate, Mind Share Partners

This article was originally published on Forbes. Go here to read more of Mind Share Partners' Forbes features.

Millennial and Generation-Z employees are leaving jobs due to mental health. According to Mind Share Partners’ “Mental Health at Work 2019” report, 50% of Millennial and 75% of Generation-Z workers reported having left a job due, at least in part, to mental health reasons, as compared with just 10% of their Baby Boomer counterparts. These findings are aligned with generational trends regarding awareness and acceptance around mental health—but this is only one interpretation. 

Companies and business leaders are failing to establish organizational cultures that both support and sustain their employees. Unsupported mental health conditions result in clear losses to productivity, engagement, and retention, all of which cost U.S. businesses $16.8 billion annually. While many companies have begun offering mental health benefits, paid time off, Employee Assistance Programs, and occasional mental health days—which is actually an ineffective strategy—these resources do not transform the culture of work itself. 

In order to curb the growing rates of attrition and burnout in U.S. workers due to unsupported mental health challenges, business leaders must drive mental health culture change within their companies.

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Modeling Next-Gen Leadership

Over the past few years, business leaders have begun to tell their personal stories about mental health. 

In his feature on NBC News, Ryan Bonnici, Chief Marketing Officer of G2, shared: “I had kept my struggles a secret from everyone I worked with. I was convinced people would look down on me as damaged goods. That I would lose promotions. That competitors might use the information against me. It was only when I began doing the real work to improve my mental state that I realized other people may have felt the same shame and fear about their mental health.”