Center for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (CenSE) - Odisee
Center for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (CenSE) - Odisee

Webinar "Work & family during and after corona times:
how to support and motivate employees?"

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Figures from the recent workability monitor (SERV, 2019) show that people over 40 are increasingly experiencing difficulties in continuing to combine work and family. Moreover, the share of this group of employees is increasing on average in many organizations. Often these experienced workers combine their work with one or more care tasks at home, which leads to specific challenges.

The webinar “How can you support and motivate experienced employees during and after the corona crisis in the combination of work and family?” is part of the ESF project 'the Sandwichcoach' and you, as manager and HR manager, provide the insights from the research and translate these into solutions for your practice.
Sandwich ... who? Sandwich… what?
"Organizations that focus on supporting 'Sandwich' employees are more successful." At least that is the underlying hypothesis of this ESF project and requires a word of explanation. 9 to 15% of the population belong to the sandwich generation in which a job is combined with a double care task for a younger and older generation. This share will increase further in the coming years as a result of a number of demographic and social developments such as aging, dejuvenation, longer careers and socialization of health care.

Although this is not always visible, employees of the sandwich generation are also part of your organization. These employees usually know how to approach: they use different combination and coping strategies to combine work and private life and manage to achieve a fragile balance. Figures prove that this phenomenon is no longer a mere woman's affair: more and more men are taking care tasks, so the gender differences in taking care tasks are becoming smaller.

Why do organizations have to worry for Sandwich employees?
Nevertheless, these employees are under pressure, especially when the burden of care suddenly increases. `` Working longer, in combination with the socialization of care, increases the pressure on the Sandwich generation ”(Timmers & Mechels, 2019). In that case, the physical health, subjective well-being and commitment of these employees can decrease significantly. In addition, the recent workability monitor (SERV, 2019) shows that people over 55 are increasingly experiencing difficulties in continuing to combine work and family, a group of employees whose share in many organizations is also increasing on average. The consequences of the increasing pressure on Sandwich Generation are that sick leave is higher for this group, and there is also a significant impact on the health of these informal caregivers. And this can ultimately have a negative impact on the functioning of your organization.

Family supportive leadership
Conversely, as an organization, efforts to reduce work-family conflicts generate added value. It is therefore in the interests of organizations, in the context of a sustainable career policy, to proactively focus on supporting these so-called 'sandwich employees' and on raising awareness and coaching managers and HR managers. Previous research (eg Hammer, 2011; Straub, 2012) has shown that family support leadership for Sandwich employees leads to fewer conflicts between the work and family domain, which in turn leads to a lower turnover intention, higher job satisfaction, better physical health, higher subjective well-being and commitment. Moreover, it also appears that family supportive behavior among managers can have a lot of positive spill-over effects towards other target groups of employees, and therefore cannot motivate only members of the Sandwich generation.

And there is still hopeful news, this family supportive behavior by executives is not a personality trait but can be learned and strengthened. Previous research (Hammer et al, 2012) into the effects of a training program specifically aimed at developing family support leadership has already shown that this behavior can be stimulated and that training can effectively lead to sustainable employability.

Time for action!
The Knowledge Center for Family Sciences and the Center for Sustainable Entrepreneurship have therefore co-created a training program specifically aimed at HR managers and managers. The purpose of the webinar is threefold:
  1. Creating awareness around the challenges of the Sandwich generation
  2. Generating insights into the relationship with outcomes for employees and for the organization
  3. Stimulating family support leadership
This training program consists of 1) the webinar “How can you support and motivate experienced employees during and after the corona crisis in the combination of work and family?” and 2) a seminar in autumn 2020.

Webinar program
  1. What does the study teach us about the challenges for experienced employees?
  2. How do experienced employees deal with the combination of family and work before, during and after the corona crisis? With some film testimonials from the sandwich generation
  3. How can you, as manager and HR manager, support and motivate these employees in a sustainable manner?
  4. How can you get started with this yourself?
How to register
Would you like to participate in the webinar as a manager or as an HR manager? That can and is even completely free. Registration is mandatory and can be done by filling in the registration form via this link. Registrations are closed, if you want to be kept informed of similar events in the future, please send an email.

The webinar will take place on Tuesday June 9, 2020, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM. After registering, you will receive a meeting request via MS Teams with a link to participate in the webinar. The webinar is given in Dutch. To ensure maximum connection with your needs, we would like to ask you to complete a short questionnaire via this link.

Interested or questions? Please contact

The Knowledge Center for Family Sciences (Odisee University of Applied Sciences) is working together with career counseling center Emino-Kompas from Leuven, the Gezinsbond and Odisee Bedrijfskunde to better support men and women from the sandwich generation. This project is supported and financed by the European Social Fund and the Flemish government.
Center for Sustainable
02 609 88 64