According to data from the European Labor Force Survey, workers aged 55+ make up 16% of the total workforce in the European Union and for every ten “generation Z” there are twelve 65+. With this aging workforce, comes experience but also some challenges for employers. Good, proactive age management practices that support health and well-being, combat age barriers, motivate and promote age diversity need to be in place to allow us all to thrive.
Global aging is about much more than demographics, it is most importantly about mindset. We need to shake up the mindset and change the conversation around growing older. Older employees add economic and social value to all aspects of society and need to be recognized as a major asset to employers.
The five-generation workplace is an emerging reality. We cannot change demographic trends, but we can change how we prepare for them. By waking up and embracing the five-generation workplace, we can turn these disruptive demographics into productive possibilities for both employers and employees. We propose this wake-up call focus on these five dimensions of integrated well-being.
5 dimensions of integrated well-being for Extended Middle Age
Workplace well-being should not be an isolated program or initiative, rather be purpose-driven and woven into the fabric of an organization’s values and culture. It is intimately linked to policies, programs and offerings as well as to desired culture, recruitment, long-term talent retention and sustainability of business results.
1. Physical well-being: Good health involves preventive measures, improving health status, managing chronic conditions, navigating and recovering from acute illness or injury, and successfully returning to peak functionality at home and at work. The World Health Organization has found that promoting physical well-being is most effective when it involves simple behavior-oriented measures at multiple levels. Specifically, for an aging workforce, programs and coaching in the areas of Nutrition, Physical Movement, Sleep and Mindfulness practice have been shown to be an effective new trend in supporting physical well-being, especially during extended middle-age.
2. Emotional well-being: Recent reports from the WHO, Deloitte, and Forbes (among others) reveal that employers have a key role to play in supporting emotional balance among employees and that this is the absolute priority today globally. Emotional well-being includes self-awareness, good mental health, stress management, coping with emotional triggers, dealing with life crises and maintaining stability through illness or injury. Mentoring and Coaching as well as promoting and cultivating the 4 other dimensions of well-being can all support the unique emotional needs of our aging workforce.
3. Intellectual well-being: Connecting and interacting with others, accepting diversity, being inclusive, knowing how to support and collaborate with others, being able to successfully resolve conflicts and adapting to change all comprise intellectual well-being. Drawing from the wealth of experience, knowledge and skills of older employees is key to an intellectually inspired, creative and diverse workforce. Solid recruitment and retention practices, awareness of team composition and company values can support both the employee experience and the employers competitiveness in this dimension.
4. Spiritual well-being: The later part of life presents an ideal opportunity to untap ones true purpose. Aligning one’s self with self, with others and with a power greater that oneself can nurture and improve the relationships at the heart of a thriving existence – both inside and outside the workplace. Raising awareness about gratitude, mindfulness, sharing, caring and individuality can all contribute to individuals and organizations living their values more fully in the work they do - which ultimately becomes an integral part of business success.
5. Financial well-being: Financial security includes the ability to manage financial commitments, meet financial goals, protect against risks and prepare for contingencies or future needs such as retirement. Specific professional and comprehensive financial planning needs to be provided well-ahead of transition time in order to manage potential uncertainties and surprises before they arise.
Science is making longer lives possible. As we live longer, we continue to learn, be productive and contribute to society. A key part of the retirement model that most of us know is “freedom from work” where today, a key part of extended middle age is the “freedom to work”. Organizations have a duty and self-interest in providing a structure for this “new freedom” and our 5 dimensions of integrated well-being shape this structure allowing employers to encourage their most precious asset – their employees - to thrive by finding meaning in their own lives. Work can do that for them!
Don’t grow old waiting!
Turn these disruptive demographics into productive possibilities!
“Wake up, Shake up and Thrive!”
“Wake up, Shake up and Thrive!” Workshops and Coaching are aimed at supporting organizations in accompanying their 50+ employees through transition and preparing for their next life phase. With over 40 years of combined experience, we believe in the benefits of collaborative sharing of knowledge and experience, so we’ve teamed up to provide a unique solution to our current demographic trend.
Ellen Kocher, Master’s in Health Coaching, Workplace Wellness Consultant and Economist focuses her energies on the Physical and Emotional dimensions of well-being while Dominique Ben Dhaou, Expert in career reinvention, human capital and strategy has at heart to develop purpose, talents and potential within organizations focuses on the Intellectual and Spiritual areas.
Our approach is integrated both in taking each dimension into consideration from all angles and in tailoring it to your organization’s specific needs.
Ready to learn more?
Contact us to book your 60 minute “Wake up, Shake up and Thrive!” awareness session in your organization to discover our full 2-day workshop.