Can Companies Use A New Plan To Keep And Add Senior Adults Workers 50+?
March 17, 2022
by Michael Yublosky
MSN’s The Hill ran a story that caught my eye this past Saturday. “The alternative to the ‘Great Resignation’ — phasing retirement” points out some interesting strategies companies should consider. It gives a glimpse into how organizations can conquer the current, and future, challenges in regard to both workforce supply as well as growth.
These dual-front incursions threaten to undermine the future of the organizational needs to both maintain and grow a capable workforce. One long-term erosion has been the slowing birth rate in the U.S. (as well as other parts of the world) coupled with our curtailing of the flow of immigration into our country. I don’t think your company can influence these trends in the short run. However, you may be able to address part of the other trend and perhaps use it to your advantage.
Another is the mass exodus of millions of workers from their jobs in 2021 known as the ‘Great Resignation.’ Hidden between the waves of the ‘Big Quit’ is the “unexpected and highly unusual early retirement of millions of aging workers.” Some estimate that over half of those who quit were senior adults 55+.
There are estimates that nearly 40% of those senior adults 50+ who retired would return to the workplace with proper incentives. Unretiring or semiretirement inducements that appeal to older workers include reduced hours, flexible scheduling, consulting gigs, etc. But some 80% of companies don’t offer such alternative forms of work.
The author argues for a ‘phased retirement’ to replace the outdated practice of rehiring someone as an outside consultant after they leave. This calls for ”bold, new, enriched solutions” that are foreign to most organizations but they not new. Some companies have had them in place for over 10 years. The U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report on the “feasibility and desirability of this approach to the challenge of retaining older workers” in 2017.
So what’s been keeping this from appearing? Among other things is ageism, complexity in implementation, legal barriers, etc. The most simple realistic reason may well be old-school thinking that it’s never been done before. This may also be the most difficult challenge to overcome.
Those organizations focusing on long term, rather than short term, solutions will benefit from reimagining their workforce of tomorrow. Put aside past history and take a chance. You just might like it.
Get started by going to our employers and organizations page.
You can read the entire article which includes some action steps by clicking here.