Maximizing the contributions and effectiveness of all employees is critical in the global marketplace. Harnessing the unique skills and attributes of each generational group of workers and minimizing the negative impact of unaddressed social, behavioral and physical health concerns will help move your organization forward.

Now that you have secured the critical support of senior leadership and formed a workgroup, ValueOptions offers guidance on planning your outreach to your multigenerational workforce and supervisors to create a comprehensive engagement program.

Some of the components to consider including in your organization’s engagement program are:

  • a statement of purpose
  • program standards
  • communication principles
  • key messages and channels

As you develop your campaign, be sure to consider the context. What else is going on in the organization? Are significant changes underway? How can these be addressed honestly, directly and openly with a link to the EAP for support if needed? How does your organization support—or alienate—workers from all generations? How can your organization become an employer of choice?

Statement of purpose

The statement of purpose is the foundation of your engagement program; it acknowledges the commitment of the organization to all employees and expresses the core objectives of the program.

Here is an example of a statement of purpose:

“Company (X) is committed to encouraging, supporting and making available resources that assist employees, their families and our workplace in creating positive and healthy work, home and community environments.”

Program standards

Based upon your organization’s demographic and utilization data, you may want to establish program standards and measurement methods for evaluating the effectiveness of the program. Once established, program standards may be measured by monitoring:

  • turnover rates
  • absenteeism rates
  • accident rates
  • EAP utilization
  • employee satisfaction
  • manager/supervisor satisfaction

Reporting the evaluation results will aid in maintaining senior management support and advocacy for the program.

Communication principles

Consistent, frequent, honest and straightforward communication will maximize the impact of the message. Keep in mind some key communication principles as you design your plan. Effective promotional strategies:

  • communicate in the manner and language preferred by each generational group
  • use multiple media
  • focus on the individual as a unique contributor

Your plan ought to acknowledge the unique needs of your workforce as these factors can affect the channels and messaging of promotional communications and activities with the workforce. Consider the channels, graphics, messages, timing and frequency with which to promote the services and resources of your EAP. Your communication plan will be more effective if you communicate in the manner and language preferred by each generational group.

Consider too that engaging the multigenerational workforce is not a one-time event. Rather, the organization must make a long-term, continuous commitment. Ongoing promotions and activities will reinforce the commitment of the organization and your engagement goals and improve the relationship between employees and the organization.

Key messages and channels  

Generation

Channel

Text/Graphic Messages

Traditional Generation

  • Print media—newsletters, brochures
  • In-person, lecture-oriented workshops
  • Honor and dignity
  • Respect for institutions
  • Family security and protection
  • Salute to American values
  • Nostalgic embrace of “how it used to be”
  • Emphasize quality and history of program

Baby Boomer Generation

  • A mix of print and electronic media
  • Cutting-edge services
  • Prestige
  • Material rewards
  • Demonstrate value for money

 

Generation X

  • Electronic, visual media—videos, televisions ads, CD- or Web site-based Flash demonstrations or streaming video, html e-mail
  • Include opportunities to register online for Web-based seminars or order free information or self-help kits

 

  • Motivated by family themes, health and fitness
  • Promote benefit to family
  • Provide a mix of options/services
  • More is better

Generation Y

  • Electronic, visual media—videos, televisions ads, CD- or Web site-based Flash demonstrations or streaming video, html e-mail
  • Include opportunities to register online for Web-based seminars or order free information or self-help kits
  • In-person, lecture-oriented workshops and opportunities that allow for practice and role playing—particularly for enhancing relationship skills both at work and at home

 

  • Create takeoffs of popular movie scenes and scripting
  • Use sports-related analogies
  • Have an ethnic orientation, particularly borrowing from African-American, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander culture

Tactics

With this strong foundation of commitment, clear objectives and a communication strategy, you now can devise tactics that support achievement of your objectives. Please review “Tools” and “Sample Timeline” for specific program ideas and tools ValueOptions is making available to support your organization’s engagement initiative.

° Tools
° Sample Timeline