Building Work Environments Friendly to Every Season of Life

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As outlined in my e-book, Generational Harmony in Healthcare, there is currently an unprecedented generational diversity in our places of work. From Traditionalists to Gen 2020, our hospitals are staffed with professionals born anywhere between the 1940s and the 1990s. 

There are benefits to having such a remarkable diversity of age in the workforce. Navigating the varied seasons of life can also pose a challenge to organizations who must rise to meet the needs of each of those generations.

Hospitals and organization must work diligently to support employees as they navigate issues and changes that arise in their lives. Childcare and elder care support can be critical to retaining talent.

If you hold a leadership role in an organization or hospital, ask yourself how you can best care for your employees while they care for those who rely on them. For younger employees, we can offer networking opportunities and mentorship programs. Similarly, we can support the needs of new parents and those dealing with the illness of a loved one.

What type of support and guidance do your employees require? What does the ideal parental leave package look like? What child care, elder care, and respite initiatives would support your workforce? Aren’t sure? Don’t be afraid to ask.

This care and attention will undoubtedly lead to greater retention of your professionals, higher morale, greater engagement, and an improvement in the organization’s overall reputation. 

Every generation offers a valuable perspective and a unique set of experiences. To achieve productive and harmonious work environments, it is crucial we acknowledge the wide range of experiences and needs among employees. Now is the time for employers to critically think about what their generationally diverse employees want, and how best to support and guide them through growth and trials, both professional and personal. When we champion diversity and support our colleagues, we improve employee health, reduce absenteeism, encourage contributions, improve morale and productivity, and see greater recruitment and retention. It’s the right thing to do and it’s the smart thing to do. We can create an environment that nurtures.

 If we can build an environment in which people can learn and grow, the grass will not be greener on the other side.

Libby Sartain, Sr. VP of Human Resources, Yahoo

Tracy Sanson