The Government Accountability Office recently released a report on detailing some of the conclusions gleaned from a recent forum on engaging and retaining older workers.

Last December, forum participants, drawn from a variety of public and private organizations, discussed obstacles, best practices and lessons learned from programs to help older workers who can to work longer and better prepare for retirement. Participants also considered strategies for encouraging organizations to implement practices that will result in more opportunities for older workers.

Among the best practices highlighted during the forum were:

  • Nontraditional recruiting techniques, such as partnerships, that help identify and recruit older workers;
  • Employing flexible work situations and adapting job designs to meet the preferences and physical constraints of older workers;
  • Offering the right mix of benefits and incentives to attract older workers -- such as tuition assistance, time off for elder care, and employee discounts;
  • Treating all employees in a fair and consistent manner and employing a consistent performance management system to prevent age discrimination complaints; and,
  • Providing employees with financial literacy skills to ensure they have a realistic plan to provide for retirement security.

The group also discussed a number of strategies to encourage meaningful discussion and action on how the federal and business worlds can best react and adapt to the changing demographics of the country.The full report is available at www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-438SP.

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