Point: Older workers are invaluable.
Older workers are more valuable than younger workers. Keep them as long as you can.
I reacted with wry amusement mixed with concern when a 20-something relation posted a picture of himself on Facebook the other day -- taken by him at work -- accompanied by a message saying that he had nothing to do at work.
Need I say more?
I will say more because this is an example of someone who is so green that he didn't stop to think about the implications of what he was doing.
With age, generally speaking, comes wisdom. Many times we don't get things right on the first try. It can take years until we finally get a concept right.
As we grow, we learn and if we are not learning as we grow we are doing something wrong.
So why is it that we quietly usher out the door, never to return, the knowledge and experience of older workers, when someone reaches the age of 65 or 68?
There is a lot of value in older workers that as a culture we just let drop when we shouldn't.
The fact that many workers these days need to work longer because they haven't been able to save enough should not be looked at as a tragedy. It should be looked at as an opportunity. An optimist looks at the current economic cycle and sees tremendous value in keeping older workers on longer, when their knowledge is needed most.
Companies have the resources to make sure these older workers stay healthy and productive longer. Coaching on diet and exercise is just one of those resources.
Rather than look at older workers and younger workers as rivals, we should be looking at them as partners. The old can teach the young what they know about life and business. Younger workers can help older workers leverage their knowledge by using technology.
Let's keep our older workers as long as we can. If we lose them we run the risk of knowledge drain, not to mention the loss of the talent we saw in them when we hired them in the first place.
If we retain them, that human asset, managed correctly, gains in value every year.
By Dan Reynolds, editor-in-chief, Risk & Insurance®
September 1, 2013
Copyright 2013© LRP Publications