This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

May 20, 1998:

Older Workers—An Untapped Resource

As the labor shortages intensify even more, we will see older persons being attracted back to the job market in record numbers. Although the larger corporations, e.g., McDonalds and American Express, have long recognized the value of attracting older workers as employees, most small to medium-size companies overlook this potential resource . . . when, in fact, older workers may be more comfortable in the smaller organizations that have more of a family feeling.

Many older persons today retire from their careers but do not want to stop working altogether. They remember the phrase, "Retire and die," and dying is not for them. They feel good, have energy, and want to continue being productive.

Hiring older persons has other benefits, too. Having lived longer, they often have a kind of wisdom that we, younger folks, don’t possess, not to mention experience, knowledge & skills. It’s often more cost-effective to hire older workers, because you don’t have to worry about turnover. Older workers have a commitment to the work ethic. They are usually punctual, have low absenteeism, and are interested in doing the job well. They can provide role models for younger workers, frequently possessing good people skills. Statistically, they even have fewer on-the-job accidents.

While it’s true that employers will need to make sure these older workers "fit into" the prevailing corporate culture, older workers can provide valuable services on a part time or temporary basis. As a group, they’re very reliable and take their jobs seriously.

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