Retaining experience: maturing workers
Despite popular misconceptions to the contrary, maturing workers are in fact keeping up with today’s world in the workplace. One study found that 51% of workers age 50-59 use computers at work and 57% of Americans age 65-69 are online! A survey conducted by the Society on Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that aging workers:
- Have established networks of contacts and clients;
- Have higher retention rates;
- Provide invaluable experience, knowledge and skills; and
- Offer a valuable resource to companies as mentors for workers with less experience.
Although many maturing workers do not need accommodations to continue working, some may request a reasonable accommodation for an age-related, acquired disability. Companies may provide reasonable accommodations such as flexible scheduling, telecommuting, or large print materials in order to retain aging workers. Businesses are required to provide reasonable accommodations for older employees with disabilities, just as they would other employees with disabilities. To find out more, visit the Work Without Limits Reasonable Accommodations section
- Offer a comprehensive mix of benefits and incentives to retain your maturing employees. Benefits extending beyond a 401(K), such as tuition assistance, investment counseling or family supports may be attractive to your aging employees.
- Keep the dialogue open with your company’s maturing workers. They know what they need better than anyone else. Discuss reasonable accommodations and options for adjusted work schedules or responsibilities as appropriate.
- Develop new partnerships with local organizations to help identify and recruit qualified older workers or to access resources.
- Visit the Job Accommodation Network’s (JAN) website for resources on aging workers.. In addition to providing information about accommodations for aging workers, JAN holds an extensive library of resources for businesses on numerous accommodation topics.
- Access the AARP Workforce Assessment Tool to learn more about managing a multi-generational workforce and creating a work environment that attracts qualified workers of all ages.
- Visit the Institute for Community Inclusion’s website, particularly their brief on Recruitment and Retention of Older Workers: Considerations for Employers which describes the findings from a project that was funded by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy to examine companies’ successful strategies for recruiting and retaining older workers.