Within the professional world, there's a pattern that people tend to follow. You get a job, build a career and, eventually, reach a point where you can retire. Typically, we think of 65 as being the standard age at which employees decide to leave the workforce. However, in recent years this has begun to change.
Because of things like health care, pension benefits and other similar issues, more workers are deciding to remain at their jobs past the conventional retirement age. What does this mean for employers in terms of staffing, personnel and, most importantly, spending?
The silver lining of the workforce
The Society for Human Resource Management reported on a recent survey that found that over half of older employees planned on remaining at their jobs past 65 – a full 54 percent. Reasons for the change varied, ranging from workers still feeling the pressure of the recession from 2007 and 2008, to those who simply enjoy their job and want to continue to have something to do. In fact, according to a study cited by Forbes, workers over 55 will make up 25 percent of the workforce by 2019.
For employers, this may be perceived as a mixed bag. On the one hand, more employees at a company means that businesses have to spend more on payroll. Additionally, changes implemented as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 may place health care-related spending implications on executives as well. On the other hand, more employees in the workforce equates to more money being paid into services such as social security, which may help lighten the burden of pension spending for smaller businesses.
The value of older employees
Despite your potentially mixed feelings, it's important to recognize the value that senior staff members can bring to your company. This is a function of recognizing these employees' strong suits and using them where they fit best. For example, older workers, especially those who have been with the company for years, possess a wealth of knowledge and experience. These staff members may be great resources for training newer, younger hires. Similarly, older employees tend to work part-time rather than full-time. This is beneficial for companies that may have holes in the schedule that need to be filled but don't necessarily want to hire additional staffers.
Managers who are struggling to incorporate their older workers into the company operation efficiently can turn to HR outsourcing for assistance. These companies can offer personnel and staffing advice, as well as information on what elements are important for older employees to be able to function effectively.