Herman Trend Alert: Older Workers Recognized as More Valuable
Last fall, AARP's Chief People Officer, Ellie Hollander, sounded the warning that few employers recognized the effect of the exodus of intellectual capital they will suffer when boomers retire and take all their knowledge and experience with them.
By Joyce Gioia-Herman
Employers are increasingly turning to older and previously retired
workers for hard-to-fill positions for two reasons. First, they will do
practically anything to reduce costs and second, employers, like most
of us, are uncertain of the near-term future. We are already seeing an
uptick in the number of special projects given to these seasoned
The good news about hiring these folks is that onboarding and
offboarding costs are nominal, and in many cases, benefits are not an
issue either. "Many retired Boomers are simply looking for a supplement
to their income to maintain their desired lifestyle, said Art Koff of
Retired Brains.com, a resource website for seniors.
We have all seen the value of our financial assets plummet, while
healthcare costs have continued to rise, seemingly exponentially.
According to Koff, "At least one in four older Americans are either
postponing their retirement or seeking to return to the workforce while
four in 10 employers have designed programs to encourage late-career
workers to stay past their traditional retirement age."
Another interesting development is that valuable, long-term employees
have begun to leave for other jobs. These experienced, seasoned
professionals in a wide variety of industries take their priceless
corporate experiences with them. Not only are their employers
unprepared to lose these precious human resources, but the workers in
many cases are irreplaceable -- at any cost. The accounting and
healthcare industries are particularly vulnerable.
Last fall, AARP's Chief People Officer, Ellie Hollander, sounded the
warning that few employers recognized the effect of the exodus of
intellectual capital they will suffer when boomers retire and take all
their knowledge and experience with them. Studies conducted in the
aerospace and manufacturing industries reinforce this fear.
As futurists, we have long touted the value of older workers, with
their experience, stability and wisdom. We have also said numerous
times that employers must be more flexible with their older workers.
Allowing greater flexibility in scheduling and work location will give
employers a competitive edge in retaining these senior workers. Wise
employers will conduct stay interviews to prevent untimely losses of
these valuable human assets.
Herman Trend Alerts are written by Joyce Gioia-Herman, a strategic
business futurist, Certified Management Consultant, author, and
professional speaker. For more information, visit: http://www.hermangroup.com.