How to Keep Midcareer Employees Engaged, Healthy

By Harvard Business Review
July 6, 2018

Workers at the beginning and end of their career are important, but often overlooked are those in midcareer. Physician leaders can use these ideas to help these valuable employees ward off burnout.

The “midcareer crisis” is a real phenomenon for many workers: Research has shown that career satisfaction bottoms out when people are in the middle of their careers. Often, burnout sets in. Many companies fail to develop plans for the employee who has progressed in his career but may not see many opportunities left at his existing company.

Here’s what leaders interested in keeping their valuable midcareer employees can do:

Create lateral opportunities for intellectual stimulation: Midcareer professionals who are comfortable with their level of responsibility may need a lateral challenge. Companies should offer additional training or skill development.

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Develop an internal mission for those needing a deeper sense of purpose: Launching a partnership with a charity, founding a philanthropic arm of your company or seeking pro bono work can engage the midcareer professional who’s grappling with a “What’s it all for, anyway?” view.

Encourage mentorship roles: If you’re surrounded by midcareer professionals who have the skills, attitudes and critical thinking you’d like less- seasoned employees to emulate, encourage your experienced employees to take on mentorship or managerial development roles.

Offer physical moves or enable remote work: Some midlife employees are grappling with a “grass is greener” feeling, seeking warmer weather or closer proximity to family. They are perfectly happy to keep doing the same work, simply in a different location; remote work or a relocation can scratch their itch to change their personal lives while retaining their professional progress.

Copyright 2018 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.

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