Saturday, July 02, 2005

Indiana Researcher Discusses Aging Workers

Barry Spiker, senior fellow with
University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community, is interviewed about his work studying how older workers are perceived in the workplace and what it means for local and national economies. He surveys Indiana as a whole, as well as specific industries that soon will be affected by baby boomer retirements. Spiker's recommendations for capturing the intellectual and emotional capital of the work force:
  • If you know someone is going to retire in six months, make sure he has phased retirement that he comes back in two or three days a week.
  • Morbidity increases when people leave the workplace. It's better for the health care industry by keeping people working. Get someone to mentor a junior worker to pass on knowledge, but also his networks -- which he knows.
  • The emotional capital is a great way for younger workers to learn from older workers. It's being steady and calm. It's maturity and that's not something that can be taught, but learned by watching.
  • You take someone who is retiring and say, "We'll give you a bounty for all your knowledge."
Source: "Research helps reshape work force" Indianapolis Star online (June 27, 2005)

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