Monday, December 17, 2007

Conference Board Suggests Strategic Business Opportunity in Reinventing Aging Workforce

According to a report from The Conference Board, despite warnings of disaster tied to the impending retirement of the first wave of baby boomers, smart companies can actually benefit from this change in the workforce if they plan carefully. Specifically, companies need to analyze their own employee data. Mary B. Young, Senior Research Associate, The Conference Board, and author of the report, says that is "the only way to accurately forecast whether aging and retirement will impact their workforce and, if so, exactly when and where. Once employers know that, they can take the appropriate actions, rather than under- or over-reacting."

Based on a case-study methodology to investigate the aging workforce and its ramifications, the report--"Gray Skies, Silver Linings: How Companies are Forecasting, Managing, and Recruiting a Mature Workforce"--draws several practical conclusions:
  • Organizations can use strategic workforce planning to assess the impact of approaching retirements on their ability to execute business strategy;
  • Companies that effectively manage mature workers treat them with respect, discern their needs rather than making assumptions, and offer such benefits as flexible work arrangements, affinity groups, and financial and retirement planning;
  • Recruiting mature workers may not even be on the radar screen for some companies, but it's a priority for employers who face a shrinking supply of younger workers, or who want a workforce that mirrors their mature customer base;
  • Knowledge transfer from mature and/or retiring workers to younger staff is key to preparing for inevitable retirements; and
  • Through partnerships with other employers, government programs and nonprofits, companies can get more bang for their buck when forecasting, managing and recruiting mature workers.
Source: Conference Board Press Release (December 13, 2007)

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