Tips to Support & Retain Gen X Employees
The pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll on Gen Xers who account for 60% of America’s workforce. In manufacturing, transportation and other industries with older workers, it’s increasingly important to understand mid-career concerns, avoid burnout and manage retention.
After joining the workforce during the recession of the early 1990s, Gen Xers (born between 1965 - 1980) have faced the dot-com bubble, the Great Recession and the largest number of pandemic-related layoffs and furloughs. They carry the most debt of any generation and often care for both children and aging parents.
According to a 2021 American Psychological Association report, nearly a third say their mental health has worsened during the pandemic, and ongoing stress has led to daily struggles with decision-making.
Cone Health’s Wellness Director, Jamie Athas, offers 5 workplace tips:
- Recognize signs of burnout. A productive employee who isn’t getting as much done may have problems focusing, exhibit a change in attitude or decrease workplace communications. Other signs of burnout may include emotional or physical exhaustion or health issues.
- Support mental health needs. Create a culture that shares and normalizes mental health. Many can benefit from mental health services and support at some point during their career, but few seek help. Promote and create easy access to confidential mental health resources, such as an employee assistance counseling program, with in-person and telehealth options.
- Enhance workplace flexibility. Whether it’s when employees work, what they work on or how they work, offer them some sense of control. When work consumes too overwhelming, monotonous or chaotic, employees may be less productive at work and have trouble decompressing in their downtime.
- Help employees connect to their purpose. Living and working through a pandemic has left many feeling disconnected from their work. Regularly check in with employees on what brings them joy in their work. Use brainstorming and team building to create more ideas and opportunities.
- Make work-life balance a real priority. A workplace culture of well-being is especially important to Gen Xers who often have longer workplace tenures, greater job responsibilities and more stress. Lead by example: Encourage regular brain breaks. Set manageable goals. Volunteer together in the community. Use earned time off to recharge.
To learn more about Cone Health Employee Health and Wellness offerings, call Jacqueline Heyward at (336) 832-7315.