We all know times are changing, but how many of us know how to keep up with the changes? One major change in the business and employment world that will definitely have an effect on your business is attitude towards older employees.
In a previous article, we shared how important older workers can be for your business. Missed that one? Check it out here. In addition to all those benefits, it’s also crucial to have a welcoming environment for older workers because they might be all you have. According to a study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 25% of the workforce will be age 55 or older by the end of 2018.
Based on the BLS numbers, if businesses continue to push away older workers, they’ll face critical staff shortages. In short, failing to attract, retain and engage older workers could have serious consequences for your business.
With this information and the interesting facts from our previous article in mind, its easy to see how important it is for your business to be attractive to older workers.
Use these tips to help attract, retain and engage older workers in your business:
- Form Partnerships – There are lots of programs and groups all over the country for older workers, from employment offices and labor departments to senior service organizations and groups like Make connections with local groups to not only make it easier to find older workers looking for employment, but also to foster an age-positive environment.
- Speak Up – If you want your older workers to stay, tell them. Most older workers are most concerned about job security, and a simple conversation can alleviate those concerns. You can also help them stay connected to the company, and keep an open dialogue, by creating a mentoring program for your younger employees. You can make it even easier by joining pre-existing mentoring programs like this one.
- Make Flexible Schedules – Work flexibility is key for a lot of older workers. If your business has seasons of ebb and flow, use that schedule to make it easier for your older workers to work when it’s good for them. For example, let your older accountants only come in for tax season, or have sales staff come in just for the holiday rush.
- Create Phased Retirements – Rather than retiring all at once, let your older staff exit slowly over time. This not only lets your older workers retain hours, but also gives them a chance to train new employees.
- Make Accommodations – People develop health issues as they age; it’s a part of life. Do what you can to make accommodations for these physical limitations. For example, can this standing position be done from a chair?
- Keep Training – Help your older workers stay engaged and challenged through continues training and development. You don’t even have to do the training in-house, as there are lots of community colleges and even state programs that have classes for older workers. Worried about funding? Check out Lifelong Learning Accounts, or government-assisted savings programs, to help pay for education and training expenses.
People who are 50 and older are more likely to stay in a job longer than people between 25 and 35, so investing in your older workers is more an investment in your business.
How will you attract, retain and engage older workers at your business? Let us know in the comment section. Catch up on this and similar topics by reading more of our articles.