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Critical Talent and the New Career Paradigm: Some Industry Insights

Study shows only half of employees satisfied with flexibility in the workplace

New Study Reveals Job-Satisfaction Factors Change Over Decades

ABC Champions on Working Mother's Top 100 List for 2005

Study Examines Differences Among Generations in the Workforce Over the Past 25 Years

ABC Champions Noted in Workforce Management

National Work-Life Initiative Featured in the Media

National Work-Life Initiative Launched to Improve Quality of Life

ABC wins a Moving into the Future award from the Conference Board's Work-Life Leadership Council

IBM, AT&T Employees Help Seniors Use the Internet at 135 Libraries and Centers in More Than 30 States

Critical Talent and the New Career Paradigm: Some Industry Insights

By Jan Civian, EdD, Senior Consultant
April 2007 WFC Resources Guest Column available at http://www.wfcresources.com

Where and when are talent shortages likely to occur? What factors lure employees away and which influence an employee to stay? What characterizes 21st Century careers? Spurred by these questions, the American Business Collaboration (ABC)1 asked WFD Consulting to undertake a study of critical talent including an examination of labor force projections and a national study of employees to understand career patterns and job preferences. Conducted in the summer of 2006, the national study included 2,775 individuals working in mid-sized and large corporations.2 Two reports on the study have been issued and are available at the ABC website.3 Here are some highlights:

  • Salary, benefits, and job security are pre-eminent for employees in terms of job satisfaction, while work/life balance and flexible work arrangements follow next, and then job meaning, advancement, and the opportunity to learn and grow;
  • Employees who recently joined their companies cite compensation as the key attractor, followed by work/life balance for exempt men and the opportunity to learn and grow for exempt women;
  • Multiple factors weigh into a decision to leave an organization—notably schedule control (satisfaction with flexibility, workload, and work/life balance) and job meaning;
  • Employees who are married or have a partner tend to say they will stay with their organization, as do employees with children.

While salary plays a critical role in recruiting individuals to join an organization, other workplace factors appear to weigh more heavily in retaining them.

While salary plays a critical role in recruiting individuals to join an organization, other workplace factors appear to weigh more heavily in retaining them.

Some interesting variations on what attracts and retains employees emerge for different age groups. Exempt women under 30 exhibit extraordinarily high levels of engagement and seem eager to be challenged; they are more motivated by money than men their age but are also concerned with meaningful work and work/life balance. Exempt men under 30 are less engaged than exempt women their age and are focused on advancement.

Exempt men and women in their 30s—not surprisingly—place a high premium on flexible work options and work/life balance. Salary takes on more importance for exempt men in their 40s, but the ability to learn and grow stands out for exempt women. Among employees in their 50s and 60s, benefits and job security take center stage, although exempt women also place strong importance on utilizing their abilities.

These job satisfaction preferences largely mirror life cycle issues. New to the workforce, employees in their 20s seek advancement and meaningful work while employees in their 30s managing young families seek work/life balance and workplace flexibility. Women in their 40s seek to reinvigorate their careers while men seem more focused on financial security. Both men and women in their 50s and 60s value job security, salary, and benefits, but women in their late career seek to use their talents, as well. These changing priorities speak to the need for customized career planning for individuals across the life cycle. Offering opportunities to off-ramp and on-ramp, find new job challenges within the organization, and utilize programs that provide schedule, location, and/or career flexibility may help reduce dissatisfaction and retain employees. This can only be achieved, however, with an intentional focus on career planning by managers, and organizational flexibility to respond to employees’ career needs as they shift over time.

An examination of industries reveals some interesting findings about potential talent shortages. Thirty-five percent of exempt employees in professional services and 30% of those in consulting indicate that they intend to leave their organization within three years. Hi-tech companies and the banking industry are somewhat less at risk of turnover (26% and 28%, respectively). Pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, and the energy industry may experience even less churn as fewer respondents indicate an intention to leave within three years (23%, 24%, and 24%, respectively).

WFD examined consulting and professional services to see what might be contributing to an intention to leave.4 Exempt employees in consulting and professional services cite salary as most important to job satisfaction. In consulting, salary is followed by three other factors that are in a dead heat for second place: job security, flexible work options, and work/life balance. Flexible work options and work/life balance may be especially salient for employees in consulting because of the grueling client and travel demands for many in this industry. In examining satisfaction with these factors, we find that about two-thirds of employees in consulting are satisfied with flexible work options at their company but only about half are satisfied with their work/life balance.

In professional services, advancement follows salary as most important to satisfaction, followed by job challenge and work/life balance. For employees in professional services—like their colleagues in consulting—about half are satisfied with their work/life balance and closer to six in ten are satisfied with their advancement opportunities. Three out of four are satisfied with the challenge of their job. Offering employees in consulting and professional services increased schedule control (a manageable workload, access to flexible work options, and work/life balance) may help these industries more effectively retain their exempt workforce.

An examination by gender highlights the different intentions of men and women in two other industries studied. In insurance, men expect to leave at twice the rate of women (31% versus 14%) and in the high-tech industry, women predict leaving at almost twice the rate of men (35% versus 21%). Some clues exist to help explain the gender differences uncovered in these industries. In insurance, exempt men place very high importance on advancement but they tend to be dissatisfied with their opportunities for advancement: only 40% report being satisfied. Women in the insurance industry tend to place high value on opportunities to learn and grow, and two-thirds are satisfied with their opportunities in this area.

In high-tech, women place high value on flexible work options and six in ten are satisfied with this aspect of their organization. Job security is also important to women in high-tech, but only four in ten are satisfied. Finally, work/life balance is important to women in this industry but only half report being satisfied. For men in high tech, job security is especially important, but only half are satisfied with the security they have. Meaningful work is another important factor for men, and three out of four report being satisfied. Job meaning may offset dissatisfaction with job security for men. For women, no such offsetting factor appears to exist; women are only moderately satisfied with the several factors most important to them, summing to a general sense of disillusionment.

Several organizational lessons can be derived from these analyses. First, given the shift in priorities across the life cycle, the differences in what men and women seek from their jobs, and the industry variations that exist, companies would do well to view the careers of their employees with a magnifying glass. Close examination of employee career patterns, a high degree of organizational flexibility when defining career paths, and close and consistent partnership with employees to understand and respond to their career preferences as those preferences change over time will help retain employees in the coming competitive landscape.

Notes:

1) The American Business Collaboration for Quality Dependent Care (ABC) is a collaboration of several “Champion” companies partnering to ensure that their employees have access to quality programs and services to help them manage their work and personal responsibilities. At the time of this study, the Champion companies included Abbott Laboratories, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Exxon Mobil Corporation, The IBM Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Texas Instruments.

2) The study was conducted using a Harris Interactive on-line survey panel. Additional funding was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

3) WFD issued a report of overall results in October 2006 titled, “The New Career Paradigm: Attracting and Retaining Critical Talent.” A briefing on findings related to workplace flexibility was released in February 2007. Both reports can be downloaded at www.abcdependentcare.com.

4) Both consulting and professional services have partnership structures that affect the duration of employment. It is not known whether employees in these industries who expect to leave within three years expect to do so voluntarily or involuntarily. It is telling, however, that only three in ten employees in these industries who expect to leave within three years indicate working for their present company between five and nine years, the period most likely to face an “up or out” mandate.

 

Study shows only half of employees satisfied with flexibility in the workplace

BOSTON — February 22, 2007 — The American Business Collaboration (ABC) – a consortium of five major corporations that includes Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Exxon Mobil Corporation, IBM Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, and Texas Instruments – today released the results of the New Career Paradigm Flexibility Briefing. The briefing takes a focused look at how flexibility impacts the recruitment and retention of today’s workforce. The briefing reports that while flexible work options rank high in importance to a majority of study participants (83%), only half (49%) of the respondents report they are satisfied or very satisfied with workplace flexibility.

The national study, conducted by WFD Consulting in summer 2006 and titled “The New Career Paradigm: Attracting and Retaining Critical Talent,” found that almost two-thirds of participants (64%) have access to flexibility at their work on a regular or occasional basis, but the figure varies by job category. Non-exempt employees report less usage of flexibility (58%) while 72% of exempt employees report at least some usage.

The flexibility briefing examines the importance of flexible work options to employees. When you take salary, job security and benefits out of the equation, respondents identify work/life balance and flexibility as most important to job satisfaction. Among those who identify flexibility as one of the top factors for job satisfaction, almost one-fifth are seriously considering leaving their employer for improved flexibility.

Organizations offering strong support for flexibility not only have a competitive advantage for recruiting and retaining critical talent, they can expect a more committed workforce. WFD Consulting found that employees who use some type of flexibility have higher commitment levels than those who do not, especially those using flexible start/end times, telecommuting, and occasional flexibility. In addition to having higher commitment levels to their organization, flexible work options users report greater resilience. Both commitment and resilience are associated with greater effectiveness and productivity at work. The significant impacts of flexible work options draw a compelling case for flexibility in the workplace.

The New Career Paradigm study surveyed U.S. corporate employees in attempt to identify workplace factors most decisive in job satisfaction and personal fulfillment, as well as to better understand the factors associated with an employee’s decisions to join or leave an employer. Commissioned by the ABC with additional funding from the Sloan Foundation, the study was conducted using a Harris Interactive nationally representative on-line panel. The full study was released in October 2006 and is available at www.abcdependentcare.com. This flexibility briefing is the first in a series of briefings to be released in 2007.

About The American Business Collaboration:
The American Business Collaboration (ABC) is a groundbreaking collaboration of leading U.S. companies (Champions) partnering for over 14 years, in more than 68 U.S. communities and investing more than $138,000,000 to ensure that their employees have access to quality dependent care programs and services to help them manage their work and personal responsibilities. To date, more than 1,700 dependent care programs have benefited from ABC funding to improve the quality and supply of care in the United States. Current ABC Champion companies are: Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Exxon Mobil Corporation, IBM Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, and Texas Instruments. To learn more about ABC please visit the website at www.abcdependentcare.com.

New Study Reveals Job-Satisfaction Factors Change Over Decades

Findings Uncover Critical Information for Corporations

BOSTON — October 16, 2006 — The American Business Collaboration (ABC) – a consortium of seven major corporations that includes Abbott, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Exxon Mobil Corporation, IBM Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Texas Instruments – today released the results of its “New Career Paradigm” study, which shows that the factors that make people satisfied with their jobs change from decade to decade. The findings also uncover significant information for corporations to consider in regards to the recruitment and retention of key talent.

The study was commissioned by ABC and conducted by Harris Interactive with nationally representative samples of the U.S. workforce including nearly 2,800 salaried and hourly paid men and women from large and mid-sized corporations. The study found that after salary, work/life balance was the most important job factor to salaried men in joining their present company, whereas learning and growing was the most important factor for salaried women. For both hourly paid men and women, the most important job factor to joining their present company after salary was benefits.

Examination of the survey data by age uncovered differences between men and women. For example, after salary, the key factor to job satisfaction for people less than 30 years of age was:

  • Advancement for salaried men
  • Meaningful work for salaried women
  • Job security for hourly-paid men
  • Benefits for hourly-paid women

In their 30’s, the key factors changed for salaried men and women, but stayed the same for hourly paid men and women. After salary, the key factor to job satisfaction for people in their 30’s was:

  • Flexible work options for salaried men
  • Work/Life balance for salaried women
  • Job security for hourly paid men
  • Benefits for hourly paid women

In their 40’s, the key factors changed once again for all categories except for hourly paid women. After salary, the key factor to job satisfaction for people in their 40’s was:

  • Job security for salaried men
  • Opportunity to learn and grow for salaried women
  • Benefits for both hourly paid men and women

“This study is the first time we’re able to see very detailed information about men and women at different stages, and the reasons why they would consider leaving a company,” said Betty Purkey, Manager of Work/Life Strategies for Texas Instruments, an ABC member company. “Being able to make smart, strategic changes in response to these findings is critical to retain talent and becomes a win-win for both the company and employee.”

Why are employees leaving jobs? According to the survey, 49 percent of men and women state that salary is the most important factor in being satisfied with their work, and 25 percent of those employees are seriously thinking about leaving their current job for more money. Following salary, 20 percent of workers said that job security is the most important factor, and 20 percent of them would seriously think about leaving their company for better job security. And, although only nine percent of those surveyed state that advancement opportunity is most important to them, a significant 41 percent of that group would seriously consider leaving for enhanced advancement opportunities.

“Grouping men and women together by category, such as Baby Boomers or Gen-Xers and salaried workers with hourly workers, no longer applies when you’re trying to understand how to successfully attract and retain talent,” said Debbie Phillips, Director of the ABC. “This new study demonstrates what is important to men and women at different stages in their career, which can help companies more effectively cater to employees’ needs and retain them.”

According to the study, the lack of both career development and advancement opportunities dissatisfies employees the most, followed by their salary and inability to fully utilize their abilities.

For more information, or to obtain a copy of the study, please click here

About The American Business Collaboration:
The American Business Collaboration (ABC) is a groundbreaking collaboration of leading U.S. companies (Champions) partnering for over 14 years, in more than 68 U.S. communities and investing more than $137,000,000 to ensure that their employees have access to quality dependent care programs and services to help them manage their work and personal responsibilities. To date, more than 1,700 dependent care programs have benefited from ABC funding to improve the quality and supply of care in the United States. Current ABC Champion companies are: Abbott, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Exxon Mobil Corporation, IBM Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Texas Instruments. To learn more about ABC please visit the website site at www.abcdependentcare.com.

ABC Champions on Working Mother's Top 100 List

BOSTON — September 2005 — Seven of the ABC Champion companies applied for the 2005 Working Mother 100 Best Companies List and all seven were selected: Abbott, Deloitte, General Electric, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Texas Instruments.

We want to congratulate every company that made the list this year and hope many of them will join us in our work-life and dependent care collaboration mission, "To Do Together What None of Us Can Afford to Do Alone."

» To learn more, visit Working Mother's website at http://www.workingmother.com/top10.html

Study Examines Differences Among Generations in the Workforce Over the Past 25 Years

Shows that American workers reject work-centric style of their parents' generation

BOSTON — October 5, 2004 — The American Business Collaboration (ABC) — a consortium of eight major corporations that includes Abbott Laboratories, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Exxon Mobil Corporation, General Electric, IBM Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Texas Instruments — today released the results of its Generation and Gender in the Workplace study, which examines the changes within the American workforce since 1977 in relation to job satisfaction, work-life support, gender roles and attitudes.

The study, which was commissioned by the ABC and conducted by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) with nationally representative samples of the U.S. workforce, found that younger workers (Gen-Y and Gen-X) are more likely to be “family-centric” or "dual-centric" (with equal priorities on both career and family) and less “work-centric” (putting higher priority on their jobs than family) compared to members of the Boomer generation. Among college-educated men of Gen-Y, Gen-X and Boomer ages in 1992 and 2002, 68 percent wanted to move into jobs with more responsibility in 1992 versus only 52 percent in 2002. Among college-educated women of these ages in 1992 and 2002, 57 percent wanted to move into jobs with more responsibility in 1992 versus only 36 percent in 2002.

“There has been a great deal of speculation about generational and gender differences in the workforce but, until now, many of these assertions have been based on intuition or limited data. The American Business Collaboration commissioned this study in order to put those assumptions to a rigorous test,” commented Ellen Galinsky, president of Families and Work Institute. “What we found was striking—specifically because it uncovers a marked shift in the attitudes of both women and men who are redefining their priorities in life and in work.”

The study revealed that children of Gen-X parents receive more attention than children did in 1977, with Gen-X fathers spending over an hour more per day with their children than Boomer fathers. The study also finds that both women and men have become more conscious of the personal tradeoffs they have to make to advance in their careers and that an increasing number are choosing to stay at the same levels, rather than continue moving up the career ladder.

“The ABC felt it was critical to conduct this study to further help our collective employees better manage their work and personal responsibilities,” said Stan Smith, National Director, Next Generation Initiatives, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, an ABC member company. “What we’ve found is that it’s not your father’s workplace any more. A very compelling trend among the younger generations is that they favor family time over the rewards that usually accompany increased job responsibility. This poses a new challenge to managers responsible for growth within their companies since there is clearly a gap between how we currently work and what the next generation of employees want.”

Though their focus may have shifted, the study refutes an often-held assumption that Gen Y and Gen X employees are “slackers”. In fact, the study found that Gen-Y and Gen-X employees in 2002 worked just as hard as their age counterparts did in 1977. Statistically, there is no significant difference between Gen-Y in 2002 and their age counterparts in 1977 with respect to the total paid and unpaid hours worked per week (38.5 hours on average), although an extraordinary 80 percent of college-educated employees would like to work fewer paid and unpaid hours than they currently do. Interestingly, when Gen-X employees in 2002 were compared with their age counterparts in 1977, the study found that in 2002 Gen-X employees actually worked more paid and unpaid hours per week (45.6 hours on average) than employees of comparable ages in 1977 (42.9 paid and unpaid hours per week on average).

“With Baby Boom and Gen X employees making up the majority of our workforce, it is important for us as an employer to understand the priorities and issues these groups bring to the workplace, both in general and as individuals,” said Betty Purkey, Manager of Work/Life Strategies, Texas Instruments. “This information can help us create a workplace that is more effective in attracting and retaining top talent both now and in the future.”

Since its inception in 1992, ABC has worked together to help employees manage work and personal responsibilities. For over a decade, a major focus of the ABC Champion Companies has been to create and fund innovative programs for childcare and eldercare services to alleviate gaps between the needs of working families and the available services and programs in identified communities across the country. As corporate leaders, the ABC Champion Companies recognize that today’s workforce is constantly evolving and are focusing collaborative efforts on understanding the needs of the changing workforce, while implementing creative solutions to improve workforce effectiveness. These programs and services exemplify the ABC's belief that through collaboration, companies can accomplish more together than they can do alone for their employees and their communities.

» Click here to read the study results briefing. (PDF file, 513 KB)

Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a non-profit center for research that provides data to inform decision-making on the changing workplace, changing family and changing community. Founded in 1989, FWI is known for ahead-of-the-curve, non-partisan research into emerging workforce issues; for solutions-oriented studies addressing topics of vital importance to all sectors of society; and for fostering connections among workplaces, families, and communities. For more information, see www.familiesandwork.org.

The American Business Collaboration (ABC) is a groundbreaking collaboration of leading U.S. companies (Champions) partnering since 1992, in more than 68 U.S. communities and investing more than $136,800,000 to ensure that their employees have access to quality programs and services to help them manage their work and personal responsibilities. To date, more than 1,700 dependent care programs have benefited from ABC funding to improve the quality and supply of care in the United States. Current ABC Champion companies are: Abbott Laboratories, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Exxon Mobil Corporation, General Electric, IBM Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Texas Instruments. To learn more about ABC please visit www.abcdependentcare.com.

ABC Champions Noted in Workforce Management

Abbott Laboratories, IBM, and Texas Instruments, as well as the ABC, are featured in the article "A Case for Child Care" in Workforce Management, April 2004.

» Click here to view the article. (PDF file, 1.62 MB)

National Work-Life Initiative Featured in the Media

Sue Molina, Partner and National Director, Initiative for the Retention and Advancement of Women, Deloitte & Touche, and Ellen Galinsky, President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute, were recently interviewed by broadcast outlets across the country regarding the launch of the National Work Life Initiative.

» Click here to view a sample segment, which aired on WFMY-TV (CBS affiliate - Greensboro, NC) on October 22nd. (Please note: this is a large video file, 75 MB total.)

National Work-Life Initiative Launched to Improve Quality of Life

Two National Organizations Collaborate to Help U.S. Companies Deal with Workplace Challenges of 21st Century

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- The American Business Collaboration for Quality Dependent Care (ABC) and The Alliance for Work-Life Progress (AWLP- formerly the Alliance of Work/Life Professionals) are pleased to announce the introduction of The National Work-Life Initiative -- a national campaign to bring public awareness and business focus to work-life issues that are critical to organizational and personal success. ABC and AWLP are partnering to assist employees and employers grappling with the complex challenges of the 21st century workplace and to raise the public's consciousness around these issues.

"In times of uncertainty, effective work-life initiatives are more critical for businesses than ever before," said Tom Engibous, Chairman, President and CEO of Texas Instruments, an ABC member company. "At TI, we've seen firsthand how a culture of workplace flexibility helps employees manage their personal lives while increasing their productivity and commitment at work. The mutual benefits to employees and the company's bottom line are very significant."

The strong correlation between work-life programs and greater productivity as well as the importance to quality of life has been documented in a number of studies:

  • Statistics in a Watson Wyatt study show that flexibility in work arrangements can drive a 3.5 percent increase in shareholder value.
  • A recent study by WFD Consulting, a firm that helps companies improve their work environments and enhance employee commitment, found that some 83 percent of US corporate employees work in different locations from their coworkers, and those who work from home are significantly more likely to be more committed to the company, productive and successful at work-life integration than their on-site colleagues.
  • According to a recent Harris poll, nearly 80% of men and women ages 24 to 34 the core of the Generation X cohort said that time with family was more important than earning a higher salary.

The National Work-Life Initiative provides an opportunity to share the successes of companies such as those who make up the ABC--Abbott, Allstate, Deloitte & Touche, ExxonMobil, GE, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Texas Instruments--through a multi-faceted approach:

  • Congressional Resolution and Presidential Proclamation declaring September Work-Life Month
  • Launch Event on Capital Hill
  • Develop strategies for companies to celebrate Work-Life Month
  • Highlight best-practices in the Fortune Special Text and Advertising Section on Work-Life Effectiveness

The ABC and AWLP are inviting companies and Work-Life organizations dedicated to enhancing work-life effectiveness to join them in the effort to seek legislative support for the Congressional Resolution and participate in the Fortune special section. AWLP will also be asking work-life professionals and organizations to participate in the Congressional Communication Campaign.

The American Business Collaboration (ABC) is a groundbreaking collaboration of leading U.S. companies (Champions) partnering for over 10 years, in more than 67 U.S. communities and investing more than $136,000,000 to ensure that their employees have access to quality dependent care programs and services to help them manage their work and personal responsibilities. To date, more than 1,600 dependent care programs have benefited from ABC funding to improve the quality and supply of care in the United States. Current ABC Champion companies are: Abbott Laboratories, Deloitte & Touche, Exxon Mobil Corporation, General Electric, IBM Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Texas Instruments. To learn more about ABC please visit the website site at www.abcdependentcare.com.

The Alliance for Work-Life Progress (formerly The Alliance of Work/Life Professionals) is a membership organization which provides premier professional membership services to individuals and organizations that are focused on creating healthy work environments that value people and support personal life and family issues. We are committed to the development and advancement of the field of work-life effectiveness and will promote these issues through publications, forums, and professional development strategies. AWLP's members represent all facets of the work field including: work-life managers, HR professionals, work-life vendors, academics, labor representatives, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. For more information on AWLP visit the website at www.awlp.org.

» Related News: FORTUNE announces special section on "Work-Life Effectiveness."

 

ABC Wins a Moving into the Future Award from the Conference Board's Work-Life Leadership Council

» Please click here to read about this event.

IBM, AT&T Employees Help Seniors Use the Internet at 135 Libraries and Centers in More Than 30 States

The American Business Collaboration Funds Study to Address Workforce of the Future; Finds More than Eighty Percent of All Employees Work at a Distance

PHILADELPHIA, April 10 -- AT&T and IBM have tapped their employees to help bring access to the Internet - and knowledge of how to use it - to senior citizens around the country.

Last year, the two companies collaborated to sponsor a $660,000 grant to Generations on Line and SeniorNet, Inc. Since then, more than 130 AT&T and IBM employees have suggested libraries, senior centers and nursing homes in communities in 30 states where their parents or grandparents live to receive Generations on Line, a free simplified Internet program created exclusively for seniors.

Funding for this unique initiative is provided by the IBM Global Work/Life Fund and the AT&T Family Care Development Fund. The AT&T Family Care Development Fund is a joint project of AT&T, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

As a result of employee involvement, 135 new facilities now offer this program free to IBM and AT&T relatives and other seniors. Sixty-five libraries, nursing homes and senior centers have added Generations on Line to their facilities. "We are a small community that has had a lot of interest in Generations on Line," said Barbara Winter at the Pipestone Senior Center in Minnesota. "We've had a lot of positive feedback about Generations on Line and have a couple of people who come in everyday to use it and they love it. I think it's great because it is so simple for the seniors to use."

Carol Fjellanger is the IBMer who nominated the Senior Center in Pipestone, MN, her mother's community, to receive the Generations on Line software. Pipestone is about 180 miles from where Fjellanger lives in Rochester, MN. The Generations on Line program makes it possible for elders, such as Fjellanger's mother, to stay in touch with family members who do not live nearby - in this case, two children, five grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. "Now she wants her own computer so she doesn't have to go to the Senior Center to send her e-mails!" says Fjellanger proudly.

In addition, 70 SeniorNet sites have added Generations on Line to their computer learning centers. Ann Wrixon, President and CEO of SeniorNet said, "When I walked into the SeniorNet Learning Center in Jaspar, Arkansas, which is in the middle of the Ozarks - an extremely rural community - there was the Generations on Line computer right in the middle of the lobby with 3 seniors crowded around it."

Dr. Joseph Romano, AT&T Human Resources Vice President - Health Affairs said, "We're pleased to be associated with such a worthwhile program, and we're happy that, in many communities throughout the U.S., our employees and their families are benefiting from it."

Tobey Dichter, founder and CEO of Generations on Line, estimates that more than 8,000 seniors have overcome their fear of computers through this simplified program. "This grant is an example of corporate leadership recognizing the needs of employees with older family members as well as the importance to those employees of staying connected with their elder relatives."

Generations on Line (www.generationsonline.org) is a nonprofit program launched in September 2000 and is now in more than 670 senior centers, nursing homes, retirement communities, subsidized housing units and public libraries in 46 states and Canada. Through clear, step-by-step, on-screen directions in large type, the ad-free program guides elderly computer novices through the basics. Generations on Line provides free, simplified email service and, through a partnership with AltaVista.com, enables a user to "surf the Net" in 25 languages. The program, available only to institutions, also includes the opportunity for seniors to respond to children's questions about the past, and links to other sites. Generations on Line is intended to break down the barriers of access, skill and intimidation for 21 million people over 65 who otherwise might not use the Internet.

SeniorNet (www.seniornet.org) is the world's premier technology trainer and online community for adults over 50. Based in San Francisco and founded in 1986, SeniorNet is a major international organization that has taught hundreds of thousands of older adults to use computers and the Internet and has enriched the lives of millions through its website. With a thriving online community and a network of more than 240 locally run Learning Centers in the U.S. staffed by more than 6,000 volunteers, SeniorNet offers both offline and online destinations to a population that was originally neglected in the information revolution. Many of SeniorNet's partners and sponsors, which include major corporations and foundations, underwrite and co-brand areas of the SeniorNet website as a way to market their products and services to the coveted 50+ segment.

More information can be found at www.seniornet.org and www.generationsonline.org.

Click here to view a listing of Generations on Line participating sites. (PDF, 26 KB)

 

 

 

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