Saturday, July 14, 2007

Indiana: Employers Unprepared for Aging Workforce

Few Indiana employers are taking concrete steps to manage the transition as the baby boom generation begins to reach retirement age, according to a report published by the Center for Aging & Community at the University of Indianapolis. Even though employers recognize that their workforce is getting older, the survey of over 400 employers showed that many organizations seem unconcerned about the aging of the workforce and are not adapting HR practices to manage the resulting employee turnover.

In Gray Matters: Opportunities & Challenges for Indiana's Aging Workforce, Phase II: A Workplace Conundrum, the Center surveyed employers about their understanding of the ongoing demographic shift, any preparations they are making to deal with the changes, and their perceptions about employee loss and its impact on their operations. It also "onvened an expert panel of business, government and education representatives to discuss trends in the state and national workforce. The panelists agreed that intergenerational issues will have increasing impact in the workplace, and that the ideal employee--regardless of age – will be resilient, intellectually agile and responsive to change, with a broad foundation of knowledge, skills and abilities."

Among other recommendations for workers, employers, policymakers, educators, and trainers, the Center encourages employers to prepare for the future workforce by:
  • conducting a skills audit of their organizations to
    determine the core competencies essential for business success now and in the future;
  • understanding the skills needed and who possesses them or where there are training needs within the organization;
  • developing the agile worker for the new economy, with the ability to move between projects and embrace the changing technologies; and
  • educating managers in ways to manage a multi-generational workforce.
In the first part of the study issued in 2006--Gray Matters: Opportunities & Challenges for Indiana's Aging Workforce, Phase I: The Aging Matrix, the Center analyzed nationwide data to assess the level of demographic change in each state and the extent to which older residents were active in the economy and community life.

Source: University of Indianapolis’ Center for Aging & Community News Release (July 9, 2007)

No comments: