March 27, 2024 in Articles

5 Tips to Help Your Company Retain Older Workers

According to the Pew Research Center, the older workforce is four times as large as it was in the mid-1980s. Today, more than 11 million people ages 65 and older are employed. 

Older workers represent a valuable asset to your organization, as they possess a wealth of experience and knowledge that could benefit younger generations of employees. However, aging team members are also more likely to contemplate retirement. 

If you want to keep your most experienced team members around, you’ve got to make some accommodations that incentivize them to remain part of your organization. With that in mind, here are five tips for retaining older workers:

1. Encourage Lifelong Learning

Many people falsely believe that older workers are less capable of adapting to new technologies or methods. Counter this by fostering a culture that promotes lifelong learning and continuous professional development for employees at all stages of their careers.

Offer training programs that are accessible and relevant to older workers, such as workshops on the latest industry technologies or trends. Encourage mentorship programs where older employees can both teach and learn, leveraging their experience while staying up-to-date with new skills. This not only helps retain knowledge within the company but also ensures older workers feel valued and engaged.

Mentorship programs are also a great tool for promoting collaboration and team chemistry. Employees with huge age gaps may struggle to connect on cultural topics. Create a setting where different generations exchange and share knowledge; this will help your entire team work together better.

2. Provide Flexible Work Arrangements

Many older workers may want to scale back their hours due to health considerations, the need to care for family members, or other obligations. If you have the opportunity to accommodate reduced hours, do it. Offering more flexible work arrangements will help you retain loyal and knowledgeable workers as they age.

You should also consider the physical abilities of aging employees. Don’t treat your aging team members as invalids, as doing so can make them feel disrespected. However, be accommodating of their physical limitations and health problems, especially if they are working in physical roles.

Offer options such as telecommuting, part-time work, or flexible hours to accommodate their needs. Such arrangements demonstrate that you value their contribution and are willing to provide the support they need to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

3. Recognize and Use Their Experience

Older workers possess a deep well of knowledge and experience that can be a great asset to your team. Recognize and use their skill sets by involving them in decision-making processes. This not only taps into their expertise but also reinforces the message that their contributions are valuable and impactful.

Creating committee roles that leverage their experience for organizational benefit can also provide them with a sense of purpose and belonging. Younger or less senior workers will take note of how you treat your older employees. If they see you doing right by your long-time staff, they’ll feel a greater sense of loyalty toward the company as well. 

4. Ensure Inclusivity

Review your company’s policies, practices, and culture to ensure that they support diversity in age. This includes addressing any biases that may exist around age and ensuring that aging workers are given equal opportunities for advancement and engagement. 

Regular training on diversity and inclusion can help create a more welcoming environment. While you need to address common diversity topics like race and beliefs, make sure to also include age when structuring inclusivity training programs. 

5. Offer Competitive Health and Retirement Benefits 

Health concerns and retirement planning are key issues for aging staff members. Offering competitive health benefits, wellness programs, and retirement planning services can be a huge factor in their decision to stay with your company.

Consider health insurance plans that cater to their needs. Offer wellness initiatives that promote a healthy lifestyle and retirement benefits that help employees plan for the future.

Ready to Rethink the Way You Approach HR? We Can Help

AssetHR provides dynamic consulting services that can help you manage and retain your aging workforce. Contact our team to schedule a consultation.