What does an aging workforce mean to you?

Employers are discovering that the aging of the workforce impacts them in unique ways, mandating different responses.  Which of the following describes how an aging and changing workforce may impact your organization?

  • Intergenerational issues. Managers may resent working for younger or older bosses or have conflicts with differing value systems and work ethics in workers of different generations.
  • Recruiting older workers. Some employers need to reach out to older workers and other nontraditional market segments as a means of meet their staffing needs.
  • Retraining issues. As the technology in the workplace changes, and as organizations must change to meet increased productivity and efficiency demands, employees of all ages will need retraining to remain competitive in today’s workplace.
  • Dealing with “overqualified applicants”. Some candidates will have strong backgrounds that may make them appear to be “overqualified,” but employers who toss these applicants aside without asking the right questions risk eliminating excellent candidates and/or an age discrimination suit.
  • Retirement planning and pension/retirement benefits issuesAs employees age, they need information about their retirement options, including work options such as rehearsal or phased retirement.
  • Flexible scheduling and care-giving issues. Workers of all ages are looking for ways to balance work and life obligations.  Many older workers are members of the “sandwich” generation and must provide care for parents and children, and even grandparents and grandchildren.
  • Reverse mentoring. Older employees may need assistance in understanding technology, and may benefit from being paired with younger cohorts.
  • Lost knowledge. As older employees retire, some employers are discovering that they are losing valuable institutional knowledge and competencies.
  • Retention of workers. Keeping valuable employees will become an even more important issue as employers deal with worker shortages.

Cathy Fyock, CSP, SPHR, is Crescendo’s HR Strategist supporting business leaders by providing direction and strategy while energizing them to turn possibilities into reality. 

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