Corrections or additions?
This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the August 21, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Why Business Should Be Senior Sensitive
Baby boomers are aging. For forward-thinking companies,
this means that the needs of their older workers can not be ignored.
In a number of government agencies, 40 percent of all employees are
over 50. For many utility companies the figure is higher still. In
the pharmaceutical industry, it is 35 to 40 percent; in healthcare,
over 50 percent.
What will employers do in 5 to 10 years if those workers decide to
head for the links en masse? In five years, 27.6 percent of the
will be over 50. During that same time period, the labor force is
projected to grow just .1 percent. "There will be 150 million
jobs by 2006, but only 141 million people to fill them," says
Marian Stoltz-Loike, a psychologist (B.A., Harvard; Ph.D., NYU)
who consults on work and family issues to companies. Her firm, called
SeniorThinking, consults to companies on how to be senior-friendly
and how to get the most out of an intergenerational workforce.
On Tuesday, August 27, at 7 p.m. she gives a workshop on how to
Your Career" at the Lawrence Center for Mind-Body-Spirit at 1213
Lawrence Road. Cost: $50. Call 609-730-1049.
While her workshop is aimed at the aging workers (see Continuing
beginning on page 8 of this issue), Stoltz-Loike also offers advice
to companies dealing with these senior workers. Companies, she says,
need to look at little details as well as the big picture. "Look
at your website," she says. Is the print small, perhaps a 10-point
font? If so, it may be hard for older workers to read, sending a
signal that their needs are not important. A less subtle signal
from company brochures that use only 20-somethings as models.
On the grander scale, she suggests that work teams mix Boomers with
younger workers. The younger workers gain knowledge from the mature
workers’ experience, and the Boomers keep up with the latest
jargon, and trends coming out of universities and graduate schools.
As the huge Boomer generation nears retirement age, companies may
benefit from instituting phased retirement. Yes, many Boomers want
to keep working, but perhaps not full time. A plan that allows some
to scale back to four days, and then three, or two, before retiring
keeps their expertise in-house.
An issue in phased retirement, says Stoltz-Loike, is pensions.
may have to be made to allow for the lower salaries those in phased
retirement will earn. Still, she says, this shouldn’t be a huge
especially because so many companies have abandoned traditional
for 401 (k) plans.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.