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The Demographic Landscape

To help control the problems of an aging workforce, employers should focus on the following business strategies as a top priority:

  1. Recruitment –Employers are suggested to take advantage of the opportunities to select individuals with specific talents, experiences, and perspectives from diverse age groups. According to the Sloan Center on Aging and Work’s National Study of Business Strategy and Workforce Development (Pitt-Catsouphes M. S.-C., 2007), less than one-third of businesses surveyed adopted practices that include age diversity recruitment strategies and 52 percent of companies that hire retirees do not have official procedures and programs for such purposes. Competitive benefits are an important component of any organization’s recruitment package. Employers have to cater different packages for older employees because they carry different values than younger employees.
  2. Engagement –Employee participation is essential to employee and workforce performance and efficiency. The Sloan Center study cites three critical engagement elements: employee participation in decision-making; opportunities for employees to advance and challenge themselves to develop new skills and competencies; and access to flexible work options such as partial hours and flexible hours (Pitt-Catsouphes M. S.-C., 2007).  Allowing older workers to maybe work ten hour days for only four days a week is important for older employees that may not want to travel from home as often.
  3. Retention – Only one-third of the employers have strategies that encourage aging employees to continue working past the retirement age. An organization’s ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of a multi-generational workforce and the company’s ability to manage the dynamics that occur in a diverse work environment lead to a better retention rate of employees of all ages.