The U.S. workforce – like that of many countries around the world – is aging. HR professionals and other business leaders are understandably growing increasingly concerned with how they will replace these exiting workers, especially those with high in-demand skills and education.
U.S. Census data shows that over the previous decade, the number of U.S. residents aged 55 to 64 grew considerably from approximately 22 million to 29 million. It projects that the number of people in this age group will increase to almost 40 million in 2014 and to 42 million in 2024.
The aging workforce is creating unique problems. As the Baby-Boomer generation leaves the workplace, the loss of knowledge and experience from organizations will be substantial. Some industries, like oil and petroleum, are realizing that the threat of lost knowledge is exacerbated when an aging engineering workforce retires and the next generation is not in supply. Couple this with the impact of train and drain situations where foreign students return to their home nations, leaving a void for potential professionals in the U.S. job market, and the emphasis on engaging older workers becomes abundantly clear.
The needs of aging workers are distinctive and the solutions to retain and maintain this segment of the workforce will differ from any other. In addition, an aging workforce presents other challenges to organizations, including issues related to caregiving responsibilities, health, and career ladders.
It is critical that research on effective HR practices and policies, targeting older workers, be accelerated and advanced.
Please join @weknownext at 3 p.m. ET on April 2 for #Nextchat with special guest Mark Schmit, Executive Director of the SHRM Foundation (@SHRMFoundation). We’ll chat about how organizations can create effective solutions that address their needs – and the needs of an aging workforce.
Q1. What are the signs that Boomer retirements are beginning to affect organizations?
Q2. What are some short term solutions for retaining an aging workforce?
Q3. What are some long term solutions that organizations can begin planning now to retain older workers?
Q4. Why are older workers so important to retain now, more than at any other point in the history of the workplace?
Q5. What types of accommodations should organizations begin planning to help retain an aging workforce?
Q6. What specific challenges do older workers present in the workplace?
Q7. Aside from skills and knowledge transfer to younger employees, why will it be important to retain older workers?
Q8. What solutions or policies have you implemented in your organization to retain older workers?