Thursday, September 22, 2005

America's Aging Workforce Posing New Opportunities and Challenges for Companies to Utilize Mature Employees

According to a new report issued by The Conference Board, "the rapidly aging global workforce-–caused mainly by the number of retirement-eligible employees continuing to work-–is both a challenge and major opportunity for corporations." In the report ("Managing the Mature Workforce," Lorrie Foster, Director of Research Working Groups at The Conference Board and co-author of the report with management consultant Lynne Morton and noted author Jeri Sedlar, Senior Advisor to The Conference Board on mature workforce issues, argue that "skills and knowledge mature workers possess can be utilized to great advantage by a company that knows itself well and can identify its weak areas that can be bolstered by the right mature workers." In particular, the report recommends
a series of strategic ideas and actions to foster effective management of any “retirement risk” to the business posed by a potential exit wave of mature workers. Among them:
  • Identify potential gaps and knowledge transfer needs
  • Broaden succession planning thinking
  • Check communications mechanisms and messages for intergenerational approach
  • Review training history
  • Capitalize on affinity groups
  • Become an “employer of choice” for all generations
  • Encourage better financial planning among employees
  • Build a retiree network
  • Offer benefits of interest to mature workers such as long-term care insurance, pre-retirement planning, health and wellness programs, comprehensive medical coverage, including prescription drugs, health coverage for retirees and part-time workers, prorated benefits for employees on flexible work schedules
Source: News Release The Conference Board (September 19, 2005)

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