Preparing for Older Employees in the Workplace

portrait of mature aged attractive senior womanIf you haven’t noticed, people are living much longer these days! According to the Social Security Administration, a woman turning age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 86 (for men, the average age is 84). We stress the word “average” because about 1 in every 4 65-year olds today will live past the age of 90!

We’ve seen a trend in the past decade or so… professional men and women are continuing to work well into their 60’s and beyond. And it’s not necessarily because they have financial obligations. Some do, but for most it’s because they’ve worked hard to get where they are today, they’re healthy, and they want to keep their jobs.

Yet, some employers seem concerned. How will they perform up against the young and determined workforce? Am I making the right decision by keeping them on, or are they costing my business money? Here are a few tips for catering to older employees in the workplace.

  • Provide training for those that wish to acquire new skills.
  • Provide retraining, as needed, for those who may need to polish up their skills.
  • If someone isn’t performing up to par due to health or personal issues, first consider part-time options, or transitions into retirement, which will promote a much more positive working environment.  The employee may actually contribute much more and perform much better if transitioned into a part-time position that isn’t quite as demanding.
  • Offer mentorship opportunities or programs within the workplace. New employees will certainly have something to learn from these veterans of the workplace!
  • Make sure you have a safe workplace that is accommodating to older employees. What you may not consider a hazard or discomfort, may certainly be one to an older individual. This includes anything and everything from comfortable office furniture to safely secured wires that are tucked away from foot traffic!
  • And last but not least, don’t forget to talk to your PEO about questions or concerns regarding older employees. PEOs not only assist with compliance, but also with training, benefits, best practices and more.

By following the aforementioned tips, you can celebrate diversity at your workforce and take advantage of older employee’s contributions and experience. For questions regarding your PEO relationship (or if you’re looking to establish a new PEO relationship) contact our team today!

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