Creating an Effective Employee Wellness Program for Gen X
Updated: Sep 26
Written by: Dana Wisniewski, MS | Health Promotion Manager | AdvantageHealth Corporation
Born between 1965 and 1980, Gen X employees bring unique experiences and perspectives to the table. To cater to their specific health and wellness needs, it's essential for organizations to develop an employee wellness program tailored to Gen X. As the most highly educated generation, Gen Xers tend to be independent, tech-savvy, pragmatic and competent.
Understanding Gen X Health and Wellness Priorities
Physical Health: Gen X is at an age where they start to experience the effects of aging. They often prioritize maintaining physical health, managing chronic conditions, and preventing age-related issues such as joint pain, heart disease, and diabetes. According to a report by CDC, Gen X’s top health priority is to lose weight, compared to millennials whose top health priority is “to get more sleep and reduce stress”
Mental Health: The stressors of juggling career and family responsibilities can take a toll on Gen X. They may experience high levels of stress and anxiety, making mental health support essential. Plus, mental health was often a taboo subject growing up.
Work-Life Balance: Gen X values work-life balance as they are often raising families or caring for aging parents. Providing programs that help them balance their personal and professional lives is crucial.
Nutrition and Fitness: Promoting healthy eating habits and regular exercise can help Gen X employees manage their weight, boost energy levels, and prevent age-related health concerns.
Financial Wellness: Gen X is saving for retirement and dealing with various financial responsibilities. Offering financial planning resources and assistance can alleviate financial stress.
Designing the Wellness Program
Health Screenings: Offer annual onsite biometric screenings to identify the risk of developing chronic conditions related to hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Knowing their numbers is especially important for Gen X'ers as they can still do something about making improvements to achieve the highest quality of life possible as they age. In addition, provide incentives for being up to date on medical and dental preventive care visits to catch issues before they manifest into some bigger.
Mental Health Support: Offer access to counseling services, stress management workshops, and mindfulness training to help Gen X employees cope with the pressures of work and family life.
Work-Life Balance: Implement flexible work arrangements, family leave policies, and telecommuting options to support Gen X in managing their work and personal responsibilities.
Fitness and Nutrition: Organize fitness challenges, nutrition seminars, and exercise classes to encourage physical activity and healthy eating habits.
Financial Planning: Partner with financial advisors to provide Gen X employees with guidance on retirement planning, investment strategies, and debt management. "As the 'Sandwich Generation,' many Gen Xers find themselves caught in the middle of financial wellness priorities, juggling household and family obligations and work duties along with long-term financial goals, like retirement. According to the survey, over half (53%) of Gen Xers do not have any retirement savings or a retirement strategy. Nearly half (45%) feel less prepared than their peers for retirement," according to New York Life.
Education and Skill Enhancement: Offer opportunities for professional development and upskilling to keep Gen X engaged and competitive in the workforce.
Social Engagement: Foster a sense of community by organizing team-building events, mentorship programs, and social activities to promote work relationships.
Technology Integration: Utilize digital platforms and wellness apps to make program information and resources easily accessible to Gen X employees.
Regular Feedback: Continuously gather feedback from participants to assess the program's effectiveness and make necessary adjustments.
Email Kristine Keykal at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started or call 612.823.4470 (select option “1”) for more information or pricing.
Dana Wisniewski, MS, has worked with AdvantageHealth for 12 years. From designing wellness programs for CO's largest school district with over 12,000 employees to health coaching one-on-one, she specializes in cultivating a healthy, thriving workplace. She holds certifications in yoga teacher training, mediation teacher training, personal training and wellness coaching and has published three books.