It is very challenging to send message of wellness to the four generations together in the workplace and obviously it needs resolving in the right way. Both designing wellness ideas appealingly and communicating them successfully are equally important. Higher participation rate and greater success are two of the results when making attempts to approach everyone in an organisation
There are a variety of labels used to identify each generation. For the purposes of this article, they are identified by the descriptors used most frequently. The Traditionalists describes those who are age 65 and older. Although age 65 signifies the opportunity for retirement in our society, many Traditionalists are still in the workplace due to the current economy. Some are working part-time as well. Baby Boomers receive a lot of attention due to their numbers and visibility. This generation ranges in age from 46-64. Gen Y is the age group from 27-45. This group received a lot of attention initially but have taken a back seat to the Millennial generation (26 years and younger). Gen Y has been described as the first wave of boomer children and the Millennials as the second wave.
This series of five articles will address each generation and the implication for company wellness programs. Attention to the current demographics of each organization is recommended. The benefit of addressing generations within the wellness program may extend to recruiting as well. Organizations that are heavy with Baby Boomers and wanting to attract Gen Y and Millennials can increase attraction with a visible wellness program including features that appeal to these generations.
There is much negative information about the various generations as portrayed in the media. The oldest generation has been described as conservative, Baby Boomers as self-centered and short-sighted, Gen Y as independent to a fault and Millennials as spending their parents' money. None of the characterizations of generational features may be true for individuals. The information about generational identity is most useful for application of general concepts and is not meant to label or disparage anyone. The most helpful way to utilize this information is in planning and delivering wellness initiatives. A first step may be to make sure the organization's wellness committee has diverse membership across generations.