Friday, June 17, 2005

HR can help businesses plan for maturing workforce

Speaking at “Voice of Business on the Mature Workforce,” a forum which was aimed at adding the business community’s perspective to the White House Conference on Aging, Susan R. Meisinger, SPHR, president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), one of the sponsors of the forum, told her audience that HR professionals can take steps to help their organizations plan strategically for the maturing workforce and its economic impact by:
  • Conducting studies to determine the projected demographic makeup of their organization’s workforce and projected retirement rates. People are concerned about doing anything that could be construed as discriminatory, she said, but “it’s OK to look at an employee’s age for workforce planning.”
  • Developing succession plans and replacement charts. “The pool to draw from is smaller. … How are you mentoring?” she asked.
  • Developing processes to capture institutional knowledge. It can be difficult to focus years ahead when an organization’s immediate concern is how it is doing now, she acknowledged. Developing methods to capture institutional knowledge is probably the best tool HR can use to galvanize people and make executive managers aware of the need to plan for the organization’s future, she said.
  • Creating or redesigning positions that allow near-retirees to ease into retirement. This requires stepping back and looking beyond job titles and duties and focusing on what needs to be accomplished.
HR professionals also may develop and shape workforce training and development programs.

Source: "Meisinger: HR can help stem boomer brain drain" SHRM Online (June 16, 2005)

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