By Pat Milligan, Rick GuzzoPartner, Haig Nalbantian, Yvonne Sonsinoand Patty Sung, Mercer
How can smart employers optimize their workforce performance by capturing the value of age and experience in a changing world of work? Discover the steps you can take today to build an age-ready organization
FUELING A NEW IMPERATIVE
Our population across the industrialized world is aging to the extent never experienced in history before, at the same time as we enter a period of uncertain global economic growth. These converging factors have implications for every part of our society: how we think about and live our lives, how we finance them and how we will work in future. It is vital to support people to live healthier lives and stay in the workforce for longer, reducing dependency and the burdens on health, pensions and social systems.
There is a new imperative for fueling growth through better utilization of an aging workforce, a segment often overlooked as a source of competitive advantage. Although many organizations have made advances in terms of gender diversity and inclusion, many have not yet taken much notice of this important growing segment.
“Across the globe, unprecedented population aging is impacting policies, practices and institutions of all types in dramatic ways. And it’s just beginning. Our world will look much older in the years ahead.”Paul Irving, Chairman of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, Chairman of Encore.org and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University of Southern California Davis School of Gerontology
NOT FOCUSED ON YOUR EXPERIENCED WORKFORCE? YOU SHOULD BE
Because experienced workers are largely ignored or misperceived in organizations’ strategic workforce plans, many businesses are failing to capitalize on their value. Age-ready employers will:
- Maximize operational effectiveness and capitalize on the value that workers with decades of experience can deliver
- Ensure that they can tap into a larger pool of talent given that declining birth rates are triggering real labor shortages in developed geographies
- Enable innovation and customer connectivity
- Increase knowledge-sharing and strengthen collaboration
- Ensure fairness and inclusivity – avoiding litigation risks
- Better align the workforce with future needs of the business
THE RISKS OF NOT TAPPING INTO YOUR WORKFORCE POTENTIAL
Those that continue to ignore the experienced workforce are courting unnecessary risk. Failure to capture the potential contributions of experienced workers contributes to talent gaps and mismatched skills. Age discrimination and wrongful termination claims are on the rise, and decreased motivation and productivity result when people remain in the organization not because they want to but because they can’t afford to retire.
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS
Ageism and age discrimination create unnecessary roadblocks — cultural and psychological barriers that prevent companies from fully leveraging the experience of their older workers.