Facts about Employers
Common beliefs of employers
- Age is a deterrent to productivity.
- Jobs are not important to the older worker.
- Aging is correlated with diminishing value on the job.
- Older workers are rigid, inflexible, and unable to compete mentally.
- It is difficult to train older workers; that is, it is not worth it.
Common blocks to older workers continuing to work
- Incentives for early retirement.
- Fixed work hours and days limit their freedom and flexibility in managing family caregiving and other activities.
- Employers often do not offer retraining opportunities to older workers.
- Employers are anxious to replace higher-paid, experienced workers with lower-paid starters.
- Younger supervisors have negative attitudes about older workers.
Advantages of older workers to employers
- They have reliable work habits.
- They are loyal to the job and the firm.
- They possess experience.
- They are stable employees with reduced turnover.
- They feel less concern about advancement.
- They show equal or better productivity rates.
- They do not necessarily need standard fringe benefits.
- They are willing to work on a part-time, on a temporary, and/or on a seasonal basis.
Considerations for employers in using older workers
- Their use may require changes in the design of the work environment, with larger characters on computer screens, higher lighting, and use of acoustics to reduce loud noises.
- Employers may need to change the design of equipment to reduce high physical demands and to simplify tasks requiring multiple or fine-motor skills.
- Older workers may need training and/or job redesign to avoid age-related declines in performance.
- Employers may need to train supervisors in job-relevant information about older workers.
Page Author: Jan Hively