As we continue to live longer and healthier lives, many of us will look to extend our careers beyond what was considered the norm in previous generations. As a result, businesses will need to recognize this demographic shift and adapt their operating models to take advantage of the benefits an older segment of the workforce can bring to the table.
The key to success will be developing a plan that effectively engages your older workers and enables them to maximize their productivity for the benefit of your company.
Here are three tips to help you get the most out of your aging work force.
- Don’t buy into stereotypes. Some common misconceptions of older workers are that they are set in their ways, fearful of technology, and reluctant to deviate from the standard 9-to-5 workday they may have experienced earlier in their careers. That is not always an accurate portrayal, however. Many older workers are comfortable using the Internet and often know a lot more about technologies like iPhones and cloud computing than one would think. Do not assume, as someone enters their 50s and 60s, that the world has passed them by. Give these employees a chance to show you what they can do.
- Tap into experience. Older workers have spent years in the workforce acquiring knowledge and learning valuable lessons that can be very useful to your organization. Skills such as crisis management and knowing the right time to hire talent or launch a new product line are often best learned through experience. Schedule time to meet with an older worker for lunch or for a chat in your office and ask them for their insight into a situation you are facing. They will appreciate being included in the process and you may find a solution to a key problem.
- Be proactive. Maybe you think your team is fairly young and does not really fit the label of an aging work force. That may be true today, but your personnel could change quickly. Like anything in business, it is better to be proactive than reactive. If you think flexible work schedules may be helpful in allowing older employees to thrive in your business, do not wait until someone is ready to leave because he or she did not think you were open to it. Take action now and discuss what other initiatives might be helpful to your more experienced team members.
Contact us at 215.441.4600 if you have questions or would like to discuss how this topic may impact your business.