While change brings opportunities for growth and innovation in organizations, it can also create uncertainty and stress, especially for young employees who are new to the workforce and early in their careers.
Uncertainty about the future
When organizations undergo frequent changes, such as restructuring, mergers, or downsizing, employees become uncertain about their roles, job security and career progression. Although this is true for all employees, young employees feel especially vulnerable as their short tenure often means that they are first to leave employment. This lack of stability creates anxiety, as young employees feel unsure about their future prospects within a company and the workforce at large.
Increased workload and pressure
Changes within an organization often require employees to take on additional responsibilities, learn new skills, or adapt to new processes. This leads to increased workloads and heightened pressure to perform. Causing young employees to be overwhelmed, struggling to perform against new demands while trying develop their professional skills and coping mechanisms.
Fear of the unknown
Young employees may have limited experience dealing with change, and constant change can disrupt their sense of familiarity and routine. Fear of the unknown and the potential for failure or making mistakes can contribute to anxiety, as they may feel pressured to quickly adapt and meet new expectations.
Lack of control
Change is often driven by factors beyond an individual employee’s control. This loss of control can be unsettling, particularly for young employees who may be used to having more structure and guidance. The feeling of being at the mercy of external forces can generate anxiety and a sense of helplessness.
Work-life balance challenges
Rapid changes in the workplace can also disrupt work-life balance, as employees may be required to work longer hours, adapt to new schedules, or take on additional responsibilities. This can lead to heightened stress levels and difficulty in managing personal and professional commitments, which can contribute to anxiety.
To address these challenges, organizations can apply change management to take steps to support young employees during periods of change.
This includes providing clear communication about the reasons and impacts of change, offering training and resources to help employees adapt to new processes or technologies. Companies can foster a culture of psychological safety where employees feel comfortable expressing their concerns and seeking support while promoting work-life balance initiatives. Other mechanisms include coaching and mentoring and peer support systems to allow young employees to deal with pressure.
By creating a structured approach to support the success of young employees, companies are setting themselves up for the future.