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Supporting Multi-Generational Workforces

As an employer, you are tasked with supporting many generations at work. There are currently at least four generations of people in the workforce:

  • Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964
    • Brought up in healthy economy
    • Live for work, considered workaholics
  • Generation X, born between 1965 and 1979
    • Independent, resilient and adaptable
    • Work to live; a job is a job
    • Interested in physical and financial well-being
  • Millennials, born between 1980 and 1994
    • First generation to grow up with computers and the internet
    • Enjoy work-life balance
  • Generation Z, born 1995 and after
    • Reliant on new technology and communication
    • Great Recession and 9/11 have influenced their attitudes, which leaves them feeling unsettled
    • Described as more stressed and depressed than previous generations

When you begin to develop a well-being program for a multigeneration team, you need to know which generations are in the workplace. The needs of each group vary from generation to generation, and when you create or lead well-being programs or activities focused on the sensitivities of each generation, you will increase the likelihood of success.

Over the past few years, organization such as the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), AARP and Gallup have conducted generational surveys and have found consistencies across generation that you can use if you are just beginning and wish to focus on things with the broadest appeal:

  • Physical health
  • Stress
  • Financial well-being
  • Caregiving

Here are some ideas to support multi-generational well-being:

  • Physical. Employees from every generation are interested in physical health support such as annual exams, ergonomics and other various activities.
  • Social/community. Stress is also a hot topic within each generation. Support your employees through volunteering opportunities, mentoring and other social interaction options.
  • Emotional. Employees from each generation also appreciate emotional support, such as meditation, resiliency coaching and sleep options.

Want to learn more about how to support multi-generational workforces? Watch this Blue Cross® Virtual Well-Being webinar. In this webinar, your Virtual Well-Being coordinator discusses how to support workforce well-being for all generations. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and general interest webinars here, where you’ll also be able to check out past sessions and resources.

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