Retaining Workers In The Sandwich Generation

Over the past two decades, success and satisfaction in the workplace have been defined by the size of individual benefit packages that allow individuals to acquire large quantities of material goods and better lifestyles.  In exchange for compensation packages, employers expected their workers to be loyal.   These days, workers are starting to place less value on increased salaries and material goods.  Instead, growing numbers of workers who make up the sandwich generation are looking for an experience that provides a rewarding personal experience and greater balance for family and hobbies.

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Retaining The Best Workers

Balance of work and personal time is becoming one of the most important subjects to business and policy planners today.  The subject is also gaining increasing attention among diversity researchers, who consider it one of the most important issues facing individuals and organizations today.   According to 24 Hour Translation Services in Houston, Understanding and responding to the changing needs of a talented workforce is one way to attract and retain the best workers.  For example, high-speed internet enables flexible workplaces where workers can work from home, a hotel, or the road or a remote location anywhere in the world.

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Changing Workplace Dynamics

To retain the best employees, businesses are recognizing the need to develop new benefit packages that offer value to the changing dynamics of the workplace and the sandwich generation.  Today, more than 50% of mothers are members of America’s aging workforce.  Consequently, growing numbers of workers need intergenerational care for both children and senior family members.  In fact, nearly 40% of all American workers are involved in taking care of children and elderly family members.  This percentage is expected to grow substantially over the next several decades.

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Sandwich Generation

The term “sandwich generation” refers to people in their 30’s and 40’s who are responsible for raising children and caring for senior parents.  At present, these middle-aged adults account for approximately 20 million American workers.   However, over the next 20 years, this number is likely to explode, as an estimated 60 million Americans will require part-time or full-time care.  Workers with the additional responsibility of caring for children will have even less non-work time.

Cultural and diversity considerations also impact family and work-related issues.  Hispanic workers often have more dependent parents and children living with them that they are responsible for.  They are also more likely to have extended family members to provide personal care and financial support.  Asian-Americans often devote extensive time and financial resources to caring for senior family members by accompanying them for medical appointments and performing other time-consuming tasks.  Asians are also more likely to allow their obligations to create stress and guilt.  African Americans, in contrast, are more likely to have immediate and extended family members who share the additional responsibilities.

Future Outlook

Over the next two decades, companies will need to learn to be more flexible with regards to the sandwich duties of their employees.  Companies will need to find new ways to offer a balance between work and family.  Even today, some companies have started offering age-free day care services for the dependents of their workers.  Some of the plans even offer cafeteria benefits.

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