Older Workers Add Value in Many Ways

July 15, 2020 | 424 views

Older Workers Add Value in Many Ways
Older Workers Add Value in Many Ways

I’m not the oldest person in my company, but I am certainly not the youngest, either. With my graying hair, however, comes wisdom. Wisdom from many years of working. Along with it comes a comfortable realization that I actually know a thing or two about what I’m doing. I like to think that it makes me more valuable, of course … a valuable work of art, carved by grit and successes, challenges and failures.

Finding expertise is always our hiring goal, but I’d like to focus on the older worker—the employed 55+ group that is growing faster than any other age group in the workplace. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that one in four (25%) of all workers are in this demographic. And yet, there is still a perception that it is hard to be hired as an older person and that older people do not have what is needed in the workplace. I do not believe this to be true and see many benefits to the seasoned worker:

They are more stable. Unlike a young hire who is not sure of the elements of a position, older workers accept positions because it suits their desires and needs. They are less likely to leave for greener pastures on a quest for career advancement. Because many older hires choose their job (rather than need the job), they are more loyal and more satisfied. BLS shows that job tenure is longer the higher the starting age of the working.

They help lead with integrity. With stronger communication and people skills, older workers are exceptionally good at face-to-face skills. Confidence based on experience makes their leadership an asset to a team and can be used to mentor younger staff. In addition, their ethical standards are much higher and provide a high bar for younger, developing staff. This translates to higher customer service and reputations that increase brand value and goodwill.

They know stuff. Longer time in the workforce translates to strong know-how and a strong network of contacts. You know that person that always has a contact to help solve a problem? It’s the older one who has been around long enough to translate his contacts and friends into a network of people who can accomplish almost anything. Remember to always ask them for advice—their contact list (nee Rolodex) is built with knowledge and relationships cemented over decades.

They fit your scheduling needs. Nearly 75% of workers want flexible working arrangements, and older workers often want part-time work or odd hours. AARP research shows many baby-boomers want to continue working if they can arrange a less-rigid work schedule. It is a win-win situation when an organization finds a qualified person who is not interested in benefits or rigid hours. Getting an expert in a part-time position can be ideal.

Older job prospects provide many skills and advantages for companies. Their expertise, work ethic, and leadership are valuable assets for any organization. Schedule them to fit their time preferences and your needs, and you will find a working relationship that stands the test of time. 

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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