Today there is still a bias against older workers in the workforce. Many see the over 60s like a negative. They believe them to be slow, scattered or stuck in their ways. Despite all the media attention about retaining older workers, we still hear of workers in their 50s who cannot get work; the younger generation fills the positions. While governments are trying to encourage older workers to stay longer in the workforce, the reality is that if you are in that age group, you may not be hired because of your age.
Older workers bring advantages that make hiring them a win-win situation for both worker and employer, and here are just a few:
- Older workers are efficient.
The assumption many have is that younger workers are quicker and, therefore, more efficient. If heavy physical work is not required, a baby boomer will have the advantage. Baby boomers grew up in the 60s, and many were open to take on board new teachings. They continue to be interested in continuing to learn. Also, they have years of accumulated experience and knowledge which makes them very valuable to employers. They are also more stable in their personal relationships and are less prone to get involved in drugs and alcohol.
- Over 60s are more loyal and committed.
The young workers of today change jobs like they do clothing. We have seen this in our businesses. Loyalty is not as high in value with the younger generation. The baby boomers of today grew up when working for the same company for many years, if not life, was the norm. One of the things costing employers money is having to re-hire and re-train new workers. Imagine having to hire and train three workers over a five-year period as opposed to retaining a senior worker who is knowledgeable in his or her position.
- Older workers do not want to retire.
Contrary to popular belief many seniors would love to continue working into retirement age. This is particularly true if they are in a job that is inspiring. Some want to continue working full time while others would like to transition to part-time. This gives the employer time to bring in another employee whom the senior can assist with the training.
The government pushing for an age-70 retirement age is a good thing. It allows the senior to work an extra five years which allows them to save more as well as having a sense of fulfillment by assisting their employer.
If you are over 60 and healthy, willing to learn and want to keep building your nest egg, there is no reason not to continue working. If you are an employer, appreciate your senior worker; they are an asset to you.
Do you agree? Do you think older workers are best?