Age-Friendly Workplaces

Author:  Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
Age-Friendly Business®

Yay, Boomers! By virtue of our sheer numbers and temperament, we have re-defined and led change at every stage of our development.

It should be no surprise we are also changing how we approach the nature and tenure of our work life, demanding a new paradigm to address a new reality.

Boomers represent 27 percent of the population and almost half the workforce in Canada.

Savvy businesses know the numbers and are learning how to recognize the risks and how to take advantage of the opportunities. A thought leader from Down Under is showing them how.

Consultant, trainer, speaker, author Geoff Pearman established “Partners in Change” in response to a perfect storm—

• aging demographics;
• increasing health, vitality, and longevity;
• boomersʾ obsessive attachment to independence and personal achievement; and
• economic challenges that compel us to work longer.

But are small- and medium-sized businesses ready for this perfect storm? Sadly, Geoff says many are not.

Although there was much research, analysis, and commentary, there was no practical solution to help change traditional business practices and outcomes. Geoff has worked with over 80 companies, from large corporations to owners-operators in Australia and New Zealand; we can learn much from this Down Under pioneer.

From Diversity to Strategy: Inclusion to Engagement

Geoff’s strategy goes well beyond the typical diversity-awareness training and hiring targets. Understanding the emerging needs, issues, and incentives for an aging workplace and the risks and opportunities for a business requires careful analysis, a disciplined strategic process, and a commitment to cultural change and creative solutions. The solution must be grounded in good business strategy and bottom-line results. He offers a 3-stage approach.
The first stage involves developing an awareness and understanding of the shifting reality within the organization. Geoff shares that many top-level executives could not tell you the average or median age of their own workforce, let alone the number of employees poised to leave within the next 5 years.

Once a profile is established, the risks and opportunities are listed to inform the creation of a customized strategic plan.

Finally, a tactical action list is developed to drill into the specific steps to ensure the organization is poised to take advantage of the opportunities.

Making sure a business is able to remain responsive and competitive is everyone’s problem. We all have a stake in the corporate culture, reputation, and workplace experience.

Our businesses, organizations, and commercial operations have a substantial opportunity—one third of our day—to contribute to our sense of well-being, financial security, and achievement.

Indeed, the business community may be the most logical option for social change in this life stage—and boomers are set to serve as the perfect change agents. They would want no less.

Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA,
Founder and CEO
Age-Friendly Business®


Safe and Well at Work

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, every company should develop, in consultation with its employees, a Comprehensive Workplace Health and Safety Program (CWHSP).

This program should address the following for elements:
• Occupational health and safety (the physical work environment).
• Psychosocial work environment (organizational culture and the organization of work).
• Workplace health promotion (wellness).
• Organizational community involvement.


The Beauty of Diversity

“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.”

Max de Pree

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