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Tips on managing an aging workforce

With projections that by 2020 one in four workers could be 55-years of age or older, employers are concerned about health and wellness issues connected with an aging workforce. While employers are wise to consider the needs of older workers, both to aid retention and create a productive and safe workplace environment, most have not implemented strategies to deal with the issue, according to a new joint study by the Disability Management Employer Coalition and Cornell University.

The study is interesting because it is one of the few studies of its kind to examine the aging workforce from the perspective of disability management professionals. The major findings of the report include:

Many of the accommodations for older workers can be done with minimal cost and also benefit younger workers. One good source is a fact sheet from the American Society of Safety Engineers, offerings tips for increasing workplace safety of older workers.

Proactive employers who address the physical, physiological and cognitive issues that are a natural part of aging and allow older workers to perform efficiently and with dignity will benefit from higher retention of valuable skills and improved productivity.