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Best Practices for Managing the Aging Workforce

June 30, 2009

Employers who see the competitive advantage of recruiting and retaining older workers can adopt some of the best practices developed by organizations that are managing the shifts in the workforce rather than being victimized by them, says Richard Anthony, Sr. a business coach and consultant to senior management.

Anthony wrote an interesting piece on that offers 10 best practice tips for managing the aging workforce. He says “any approach to managing the aging workforce must be undertaken within the full context of the four generations, not just the older generation.”  Some examples of his advice below:

1) Study generational composition of your workforce. The first step is to take stock of what you’ve got by developing a census of the workforce by age, gender and skill level. Then plot the age data according to the four generations (Traditionals, Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y). Next study similarities and dissimilarities among the four generations to understand the underlying motivations for each group.

2) Prepare a workforce forecast. Now that you know what you’ve got, prepare a forecast of the human capital in terms of competencies and experience your firm is likely to need based on certain scenarios. Do a side-by-side comparison of the workforce you have and the workforce you believe you will need three to five years out; then decide what adjustments should be made and how best to make them.

3) Train managers and supervisors about intergenerational differences and issues. Most managers and supervisors need to take a step back from their daily routines to understand the causes of intergenerational stress. On the one hand, they must be fair arbiters of age-related disputes. However, they must also be aware of the emotional, cognitive and physical changes older workers experience and the possible influence on the worker’s ability to perform.

To read the complete list, click here.

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