Power of Older Workers Part 2

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

Part 2
Power of Older Workers 

The previous Maturity Matters Newsletter alerted us to the exodus of a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce leaving many organizations.  More than half of their management teams and employees are positioned to leave as Baby Boomers are preparing for partial, full, or re-defined retirement.

For the past decades, employers have benefitted tremendously from the dedication and commitment of the baby boomers who have worked and still work for them.  Often described as ‘driven and workaholics,’ they served as a valuable resource and asset for many businesses.  This established intellectual and human capital will be moving on unless the right environment is created to continue to be welcoming and personally satisfying.

Internships, mentorship opportunities, flexible hours and inter-generational workplaces, created the right way can help to create the right environment to stimulate creativity, knowledge sharing, productivity, and an enhanced sense of workplace well-being.

We know that simply throwing together a group of multi-generational teams is not an effective solution.  Thoughtful and deliberate strategies, with corresponding training, preparation, policies and principles can help to establish the foundation for a vibrant and responsive workplace that is attractive for all age groups to learn, grow, and advance.

Tips for Greater Engagement and Retention:

  • Start having conversations with your staff early in the process to discover more about their intentions and aspirations.
  • Acknowledge and appreciate their experience, knowledge and contribution;
  • Let them know that you want them to stay;
  • Provide opportunities for social inclusion, networking, knowledge transfer and mentoring;
  • Match the skills to the tasks, independent of age;
  • Ensure younger supervisors know how to recognize, accept, and celebrate older works skills and experience, while learning how to continue to define, set, and monitor expectations;
  • Establish options for flexible work hours, schedules and job sharing;
  • Offer training opportunities to learn new skills;
  • Create alternatives for phased retirement;
  • Set-up an ‘on-call’ roster for retired employees to be called to fill temporary positions — they already know the company, culture, and job requirements.

Flexible work environments are not only the right thing to do – they are the smart thing to do.  Hubble HQ discusses how productivity increases as well as reported sense of well-being, morale, and work satisfaction.  It doesn’t take a lot of re-construction and cost — just enough flexibility, appreciation, and creativity to allow the mature baby boomer to ‘serve well and age well.’

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

Worker Safety

When Paul O’Neill took over as CEO for Alcoa and declared that his number one focus would be on worker safety, the financial analysts were aghast!  He intended to make Alcoa the safest company in America, and in doing so, he ultimately made Alcoa one of the most productive companies in America.   Revenues were 5 times higher by the end of his tenure, and he was able to prove that the habits that contribute toward safety also contribute toward efficiency and productivity.


Avocado Tomato Feta Salad

3 tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, diced
1 cup (250 mL) diced cucumbers
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp (25 mL) white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh oregano
Pinch fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled light feta

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, avocado, cucumber and shallot. Add vinegar, oil, oregano and pepper. Toss gently. Sprinkle with feta and toss again.

Tip: Be sure to buy your avocados a few days early. Look for firm green ones and let them ripen at home. The skin will darken and yield slightly when pressed. Cut the avocado in quarters then pull away from the pit and peel to dice.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 or about 130g) – Calories 120, Protein 3 g, Total fat 9 g, Saturated fat 2 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Carbohydrates 9 g, Fibre 3 g, Sugars 4 g, Added sugars 1 g, Sodium 75 mg, Potassium 370 mg

Recipe Developed by Emily Richards (PH Ec.) and Reprinted with Permission from The Heart and Stroke Foundation

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