While most of your employees will have come through adolescence quite painlessly, some of them may be suffering through “middlescence.” “Middlescents,” a term coined by American researchers, are mid-career employees between the ages of 35 and 55 who have been with an employer for at least five years, work 50-plus hours per week and are sandwiched between caring for their children and their elderly parents. They are bored and disillusioned at work.

“There’s a real business risk in not paying attention to this group,” said Michele Bossi, practice leader, health and productivity, with Buck Consultants, speaking yesterday at a seminar on engagement in Toronto. Bossi noted that if an employer does not provide this group with opportunities to grow, these employees will either leave the company—knowledge and experience in tow—or stay on the job, but with low levels of productivity.

One way to engage these mid-career members is through work/life balance. Many organizations have a work/life balance policy in place, said Bossi, but they haven’t created the environment to allow it to flourish.

She outlined four steps to creating a balanced environment:

• obtain buy-in at all management levels

• develop a plan that fits the logistics of the business

• evaluate the plan’s effectiveness regularly

• adjust the plan when necessary

Bossi also suggested a few other ways to engage middlescents, such as volunteerism. Mid-career employees looking for new experiences often become interested in volunteer work, she said.

Wellness programs can also meet these employees’ needs. Encouraging walking groups at lunch or arranging yoga classes after hours not only improves employees’ fitness but also encourages teamwork and improves morale, Bossi added.

Finally, flexible benefits programs can offer the options that mid-career employees may be looking for. Critical illness insurance, for example, will appeal to those employees who are concerned about their long-term health.

By engaging mid-career employees, employers can entice them to remain at work with high morale and an even higher level of productivity. “You want your workplace to be a place where employees want to work, not just have to work,” said Bossi.

To comment on this story, email brooke.smith@rci.rogers.com.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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