By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Yes, we are now experiencing what is called ‘The Great Worker Shortage’. The first few baby boomers, whose very mass has dominated the labor force, will reach the age of 62 in the year 2008 and will start retiring. And to add to this already terrible nightmare, there aren’t many younger workers or ‘baby busters’ as they are called, to replace these senior workers in the workplace.

Reports have shown that there are as many as ten million workers that will be required at the end of the decade. This would pose as a potentially dire circumstance to all companies, wouldn’t it? However, there isn’t any need to panic. As a business owner, it is wise for you to examine your employment needs and requirements for the coming five years. Especially, think about hiring senior workers – those workers who are scheduled for retirement.

While the 50 plus workers are sometimes slated as being less productive, more costly and somewhat set in their ways, recent studies have capsized many age-old stereotypes. Yes, older workers have demonstrated that they can tackle any job well even today.

Fortunately, for most companies, there is a satisfactory solution, more senior workers are willing to continue working and more employers are in need of their talents. In many places, the skills of older workers are preferred over their younger counterparts.

The Benefits of Hiring Senior Workers

Yes, if baby boomers do intend on working during their retirement years, it will definitely come as good news to most employers. Incidentally, most senior workers are blessed with the assets and skills that companies are looking for. Here are a few benefits of working with senior workers:

•Experience – Older workers know the inside-outs of what it is to work for years on end. From weathering different bosses to business-cycle dips to management trends, their massive sphere of knowledge alone means that companies would not have to spend money and time in training them.

•Work Ethics – 50 plus workers are considered to be more dependable and determined and always remain task-focused. These traits are a good example for their younger workers.

•Customer Servicing – Most employers are hiring senior workers because they have proven to be more mature emotionally and can also relate to the customers better. Studies have shown that verbal communication along with a whole host of other skills always increases with age.

•Loyalty – Unlike their younger brethren, older workers are less likely to change jobs or job-hop. And, it is common knowledge that the lesser the turnover, the more money is saved.

•Motivation – Amongst all the employees in a workplace, older workers are considered to be the most motivated in most companies. 50 plus workers are found to be more motivated than their younger colleagues. And, such highly motivated employees are more likely to satisfy customers, control costs and affect product quality.

While older workers may be less capable of delivering out-of-the-box, groundbreaking new ideas, they are better than their younger partners at ‘experimental innovation’, which means they help develop new ideas from current practices. In order to balance the scales, companies require both sets of employees – the older workers as well as the younger ones.

© 2007 Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Author’s Note:
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