The demographics of our population and workforce are changing. This change deserves our attention in terms of thinking about how as an industry we can better serve our customers. With an aging workforce, we now have four generations of workers contributing to our nation’s productivity. Generational differences surface when it comes to the use of technology, management styles, corporate values, communication initiatives, health and wellness, and workplace safety.
One difference among workers of varying ages is the way they use technology. A recent Pew Internet report indicated that 34% of people over age 65 reported using their phone to text, compared to 97% age 18-29. No matter the method, the right communication must take place in order for service solutions to be delivered effectively. The observation and acknowledgement of these differences and a willingness to accommodate generational preferences is essential to future success in serving employers.
In addition to the need to understand and react to generational differences, we also know that people from different cultures express themselves in distinct ways when it comes to the assessment of pain and injury. As a result, culture-sensitive patient care needs to be factored in when considering the treatment needs of injured or ill employees, as well in the handling of their claims. Communication needs should absolutely be taken into account and potential barriers removed. Language translation may be required, but beyond that, cultural understanding is critical.
I recently spoke at a conference about the need in our industry to understand and adapt to the changing diversity in today’s workforce. This is particularly important when providing risk and productivity management solutions. I appreciate that both Robert Wilson, President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com and Roberto Ceniceros, editor of Business Insurance felt that this topic was relevant enough to mention my comments in recent posts.
We can no longer expect a one size fits all approach to be effective in serving today’s diverse customer base. What this implies is there is a tremendous opportunity to change and improve service delivery throughout the industry based on understanding and mirroring the demographic characteristics of the employers we serve.
At Sedgwick, we have long recognized and adapted to these trends to better serve customers. And as we move into 2014 we will continue to take steps to further consider and accommodate the needs of today’s diverse workforce. Each day we have the opportunity to help someone, and we must be able to meet them where they are, regardless of age or culture.
I recently spoke at the Women to Watch Leadership Conference. The CEO panel talked about the diversity of inclusion. Here are my comments http://youtu.be/49hm8pcQtMg.
What are your thoughts on this topic?
David A. North, President and CEO