Changing how we think about older workers
People have trouble imagining the lives of people 65+ including ongoing, meaningful work. That is despite plenty of examples of happy, vital, productive older people. And it’s probably true even for a lot of people in range of that age—they accept the conventions in society that say when you are about 65, you should retire.
But older people often want to work and many have to work past “retirement age”. Some want the challenge and stimulation of work, some need the income, and some want both. As good health lasts deeper into people’s seventh and eighth decades, they don’t feel like they need to go home and rest. The Baby Boomers will be especially intent on changing what it means to be 65+. So we’re in for a big rethink of what it means to be older.
Meanwhile, employers continue to struggle to find the skills and experience they need. Older worker talent is a critical resource for their success.
My company, Leading Futurists LLC with Dr. Katherine Green of Green Consulting Group LLC, has built an ongoing initiative on this topic. Our efforts include a Facebook community page, 50+@Work. And a Twitter feed of insights and important links on the topic, @50PlusatWork. Please come join us at either or both.
Through these efforts, we are helping employers explore how to be successful with 50+ workers—not as a way to do a social good, but because it’s good business. We offer an interactive guide for exploring, envisioning, and planning how to find that success. We also offer workshops to help organizations rethink their efforts, and develop strategies that get beyond the low-hanging fruit.
We will continue this discussion:
In part 2, we take a brief look at three 2020 scenarios about employers and the aging workforce
In part 3, we suggest some things employers can do, with our without our help, to confront the topic, and find ways to greater success with the aging workforce