Companies talk about keeping workers beyond retirement age or letting them return to work in some capacity. To do that, those companies will need to make changes to the workplace. Let's talk about the things that make a workplace can be age-friendly, or not.
Policies and procedures play a role. You may have to change retirement plans so that workers who stay on or return can do so without losing benefits. Flexible work scheduling for older workers may mean something different than it does for younger workers.
Older workers may need longer periods of time off for illness or may want them for visits to children in distant places. Older workers may prefer to work fewer days a week. And some older workers may want to step down from a management role to individual contributor status.
Policies and procedures will need to be changed for all these things. If unions are involved, union negotiations are necessary.
Machines, methods, and materials are important. How big is the type in written materials? How well labeled are gauges and controls? How well it is the factory? The threshold for older workers may be different. Some work methods may need to be changed.
Culture is probably the most important. How are older workers treated? Are they seen as full contributors, or people with one foot out the door? Do older workers get training opportunities? Are they treated as knowledgeable or locked in the past?
Click here for information on Wally's white paper titled "Meeting the Challenges of the Boomer Brain Drain: An integrated approach."