Talent Management

Managing risk in a multi-generational workforce

Many workforces today are multi-generational, with Millennials, Generation X’ers and Baby Boomers working side by side. While this generational mix has many benefits for organizations, it also carries a variety of risk-management issues. Here are three risks to be aware of and how to manage them.

1. Data security

Millennials — those born between approximately 1980 and 2000 — are tied to the Internet and social media. While it’s important to for employers to understand the online behavior of this generation, companies also should be aware that “online openness” puts their data security at risk.

With malware, social engineering and other cyberattacks at an all-time high, companies can’t ignore the risk of a cyberattack. Employers must learn to better monitor the use of smart devices within the workplace. At the same time, they need to provide the right safety, security and productivity training.

2. Age and disability discrimination

By 2020, 62 percent of job openings will come from retiring Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964). However, this generation has been crippled by the recent financial crisis, and many are working past the age of retirement to make up for it.

As more Baby Boomers stay in the workforce longer, employers need to pay special attention to age and disability discrimination risks, especially those created by younger generations. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers age 40 and older. Employers that want to promote “young, energetic, dynamic people” can be at risk for age-discrimination claims. Additionally, disability discrimination is a growing Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) risk. In 2015, more than 30 percent of all claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission included disability charges.

As Boomers and Generation X’ers (those born between 1965 and 1979) mature, they will face more health-related issues. This increases companies’ risk for claims associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and worker’s compensation.

3. Retaliation and whistleblowing

The fastest-growing litigation risk for all employers is retaliation. Studies show that Millennials are more likely to report corruption or questionable activities. Thus, whistleblowing and retaliation claims will continue to be a risk for companies because Millennials make up the largest percentage of American workers.

To prepare for this, employers should allow — and even encourage — open reporting so that employees can report concerns, including retaliation, without fear of reprisal. It’s also worth looking at employment practices liability insurance, which should provide coverage for damages, settlements and defense costs. Loss-prevention tools are valuable even when no claims occur.

In today’s world, employers need a top quality panel of defense firms as well as experienced claims handlers with both technical expertise and insight. Chubb offers a wide spectrum of business and personal insurance products and loss control services that meet these needs.

Category: Talent Management

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About the Author: kirstin heffner

Kirstin Heffner, Esq. is an experienced trainer; loss prevention specialist; and attorney with expertise in workplace risk management and employment law litigation.Ms. Heffner’s training experience includes creating and delivering training p…

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