After I wrote my riff (actually more of a rant) on AGEISM I came across a blog post on TomorrowToday’s blog entitled The Silver Tsunami- Managing Older Workers. A very, very interesting blog post. Writer Graeme Codrington talks about the work of Martin Amis and Christopher Buckley who are writers who are entering their silver years and are worried about the costs of an ageing population. He says few people really grasp what is going to occur, especially people in the corporate world. Some of the facts he points out include:
- “Companies in the rich world are confronted with a rapidly ageing workforce. Nearly one in three American workers will be over 50 by 2012, and America is a young country compared with Japan and Germany. China is also ageing rapidly, thanks to its one-child policy. This means that companies will have to learn how to manage older workers better.”
- “Most companies are remarkably ill-prepared. There was a flicker of interest in the problem a few years ago but it was snuffed out by the recession. The management literature on older workers is a mere molehill compared with the mountain devoted to recruiting and retaining the young.”
- Companies are still stuck with an antiquated model for dealing with ageing, which assumes that people should get pay rises and promotions on the basis of age and then disappear when they reach retirement.
- Companies will have to do more than this if they are to survive the silver tsunami. They will have to rethink the traditional model of the career. This will mean breaking the time-honoured link between age and pay – a link which ensures that workers get ever more expensive even as their faculties decline. It will also mean treating retirement as a phased process rather than a sudden event marked by a sentimental speech and a carriage clock.
He gives several examples of companies that are starting to catch on. These companies, like BMW, are making changes to make older workers as productive as younger ones with minor changes.
This blog post is a great follow up to the admonition I gave you yesterday about looking at skills and abilities of older workers. If you have an aging workforce THIS IS REQUIRED READING.
So go off and read this blog post on managing older workers, but be sure to come back and leave your thoughts, ideas or even better yet your programs you have instituted to deal with managing older workers.