How Generation Alpha will shape wellbeing
We’ve been talking about Generation Y and Z for years and it’s fair to say we know (or at least think we know) what makes them tick. But what is coming next?
Australian social researcher, Mark McCrindle coined the term ‘Generation Alpha’ to describe the generation born from 2010 onwards; the first generation born and shaped fully in the 21st century.
Right now, Alphas are at the very start of their school lives. So, what can we possibly know about them, let alone predict how they will influence as adults?
Well, we can get an indication by looking at their demographics. Alphas typically have older parents, a more diverse cultural mix, smaller families, more wealth and longer life expectancies.
Fast forward to 2040 when Alphas are firmly in the workplace – how will their expectations and needs shape our businesses?
Alphas are predicted to be the most technologically supplied generation ever. Being introduced to technology at the earliest age, they will never have known a world without social networks, mobile technology, artificial intelligence, virtual reality or augmented reality. These futuristic concepts will be an everyday normality for Alphas.
We’re well-versed in Wellbeing 2.0. It’s heavily centred on technology with things such as wearable tech that allows us to track our levels of exercise, how healthy our hearts are and how many calories we’re consuming.
Alphas will be at the forefront of Wellbeing 3.0 which takes this concept one step further. It’s likely that artificial intelligence will be the norm for health maintenance. Employers should look to harness the power of this technology to provide a digital solution to their Alpha employees.
Easy access to sophisticated technologies means Alphas will gravitate towards communications that are easy to digest, visual and customised to their needs. However, being more connected means less human contact.
This will present an interesting dynamic for employers reviewing how they communicate with their Alpha employees. To develop relationships, employers will need to create engaging, highly personalised communications around health and wellbeing that resonates with Alphas.
As the children of (mainly) Gen Y, Alphas are being raised by the most actively health conscious and wellbeing focused generation yet. Thanks to their parents, Alphas will expect to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a healthy blend between personal and working lives.
Working from 9-5 has become 24/7 and there’s no reason to think this will change as Alphas start work. They are expected to be in unprecedented demand as more people leave the workforce than join it. For employers, this means helping employees to look after their health and wellbeing will be more important than ever to keep them and the business performing well.
Luckily, Alphas will be comfortable taking ownership and responsibility over their own health. Employers can leverage this by promoting a proactive and preventative approach to health, helping Alpha employees take care of their physical and mental wellbeing. This means they can enjoy productive careers and make the most of their lives.
It will be fascinating to see how this new breed of human will shape the workplace of the future. What’s clear is employers will need to prepare for Alphas’ expectations around their lifestyle and needs around health and wellbeing.