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Sloan Center Work Cited Among Top 10 Work Life Culture Stories of 2009

1 February 2010—With President Obama and First Lady Michelle punctuating the year with concern for working families, Sloan Center work on the multi-generational workforce gets a serious look for its work life emphasis.

In a recent OpEd published on examiner.com, Judy Martin, Founder of WorkLifeNation in New York, outlined the most influential work life stories of 2009.

Among such notable events as Michelle Obama’s promotion of aid for working families, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, Martin cites the rising salience of the multi-generational workforce and the Center’s own study on Engaging the 21st Century Multi-generational Workforce.

The report, Martin asserts, “indicates that … our generational melting pot … has an upside.”

Specifically, the study reports that older workers tend to be more engaged than younger workers. Among other reasons, the report points out that focusing on the talent management of older individuals is important because they may best relate to the Baby Boomer customer base responsible for $3.8 trillion of annual spending in the U.S. Those with the highest levels of engagement were found to be women, those without elder care responsibilities, those in good physical and mental health, those with a positive self-perception and those having job security.

The findings also indicate that employee engagement can be greatly enhanced by simple and cost-efficient efforts including: providing strong training and development opportunities, encouraging work team inclusion, offering customized benefits plans, and promoting a culture of workplace flexibility and supervisor supportiveness.

In addition, Martin recommends additional news publications at the Center: Staying “Age-Responsive” in a Climate of New Organizational Challenges

—Chad Minnich, Associate Director of Marketing & Communications, Sloan Center on Aging & Work.