Dealing With An Aging Workforce

By Roz, October 26, 2015
dealing with an aging workforce

When the Society for Human Resources Management released their report on “Key Priorities for the HR Profession Through 2015: Are You Ready?”, the issue they described as “managing demographics” was one of the top three priorities.


The challenge of adapting work places to a shifting age structure was discussed in terms of how the knowledge and expertise of the soon-to-be exiting Baby Boomers could be preserved. Simultaneously, human resource personnel had to determine how to build bridges between the influx of newer, younger workers and the senior workers who have decided to stay in the workforce.


A standard approach was to focus on health management and wellness programs.


However, in the eight years since the problem was first discussed in the report, it is clear that equal challenges are offering job options to retain or attract (semi)retired workers, as well as looking at creative ways to beneficially team them with the younger generation.


The problem is not unique to North America. It is also a key area of concern in Japan and Europe.


To deal with this unique situation, two thirds of the United States has hired, or are considering hiring, a person specializing in change management with the primary goal of managing demographics. This person is usually promoted from within the human resources pool, but can also be brought into the firm due to their expertise in the field.


Creative options, such as job-sharing between the older worker who wants to semi-retire and the younger worker who wants more work-life balance are being implemented.


The person in charge of change management finds themselves in the role of competency management, ensuring that there are sufficiently trained workers to do each job by pairing experienced workers with the inexperienced, creating unique teams to ensure that the core products of the company continue to be produced with the expected quality, and on time.


Cross-training is becoming increasingly popular, and human resource managers are encouraging investment in training to enhance skill levels for employees of all ages in order to meet the demands of the growing demographic shift.


Many companies are now starting to think more proactively about their aging workforce. For more information contact Skyprep today!

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