Having a realistic plan and expectations in terms of diversity has always been important for employers, but today it seems to be an even more pressing issue. Treating people fairly is a concept that everyone sees differently, and therefore can make for a complex topic to even broach. But being honest will be the only way to really address the underlying problems with how you handle employee safety.
The March of Time
The population is aging rapidly. With more older workers who are unable to retire due to their economic circumstances, it’s important to give consideration to their disabilities and recovery times after an injury. There needs to be quick reactions to any injuries that may occur on the job, both to prevent the injury from getting worse and to speed up the resolution of an injury claim. Most older workers are going to be interested in getting back to the job no matter what, so it’s important to urge employees to listen to their body as well as provide a program that minimizes the strain they will feel when they return to work.
Understanding the Age Gap
When two different generations are in a workplace, they’re bound to clash in terms of ideals and work strategies. This type of conflict can either force the two groups to understand the other or it can set the company up for a disaster. When you work with the younger generation, they may feel little loyalty to the organization, while the older generation may have more specific medical considerations when it comes to their duties. To strengthen communication and therefore minimize the chances of the injury, ensure that you’re treating both groups with the respect that they deserve. This doesn’t mean giving in to every demand, but it does mean working with them as much as possible. If you can allow them to work from home following an injury, then it should certainly be considered.
The Difference in Cultures
Every culture is different, so ensure that you know the major issues facing each group for better planning. Minorities tend to have less access to services, meaning that their care may not be as detailed or thorough following an injury. Some cultures have a difficult time admitting they need help, so you may need to mandate a doctor’s visit into their injury so that it’s not left untreated. This will save you money in the long run, and keep the employee healthier. Also, if the employee speaks English as a second language, then communication becomes a real issue. Ensure that they have access to both providers, literature and information in their own language for best results.