It's easy to get swept up by the maelstrom of "Millennials and Gen-Z in the workplace" concerns. Of course, these topics are important for the up-and-coming workforce, but let's not forget about the evolving career expectations of another enduring segment of the workforce.
As covered in a recent article on Quartz at Work, workers over age 55 will be the largest segment of the workforce by 2024, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. These "perennials," as they are sometimes called, are currently the fastest growing population within the workforce, and they're not ready to call it quits yet—as long as they can get a the right kind of attention from their employers.
A Couple Proven Ways to Retain Productive Pre-retirees:
The needs of our aging workforce mirror many expectations of the young. Benefits that allow work-life balance are an important shared goal, but older workers also have unique needs—sensitivity to the limitations brought on by natural aging. Their productivity potential is still hard to match, as long as employers play to their strengths.
As mentioned by Quartz above, retail and pharmacy chain CVS created a talent retention program that allowed older workers' desire to seasonally relocate to warmer climates. This is a great example of workplace leadership observing a cultural shift (seasonal migration), recognizing how it relates on an enterprise level, then adapting to make it a company advantage.
By allowing employees to temporarily transfer, CVS is able to retain its most trusted and well-trained employee base while delivering great customer service, no matter where they seasonally reside.
BMW in Germany also sets a great example in Quartz's article by having redesigned the workplace to be more ergonomically accommodating for older workers. Simple environmental upgrades and improvements to the accessibility features of the tools of the trade, such as enhanced visibility on screens, led to an overall increase in BMW's productivity.
Workforce management solutions like the ones we service by Kronos Inc. are making great leaps to bolster companies' accessibility from the foundation up. Even administrative tasks workers face every day can impact performance and the overall workplace experience.
No matter what industry you make your business in, the aging workforce will be a test for companies of every size over the coming decade. Those that are quick to adapt will come out stronger in the race to answer labor need with support from the workforce. Getting there will not only mean new benefits and perks, but extending to all facets of the employee experience. Is your business ready?