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Much has been written about Millennials and how your workforce can adapt to make them more productive, retain their talent and learn from what they have to contribute.
But with this intense focus on the youth, it can seem sometimes like those older (more experienced) employees feel sidelined, when in fact, they have some of the most valuable lessons and knowledge to share with others.

With people living longer these days, it’s also a reality that people are retiring later and working for longer, so employees age 50 and above are going to form a significant part of your workforce moving forward. There is also a noticeable trend where many people are coming out of retirement to return to part time work, in order to keep their minds active and contribute further to society – rather than resting on their laurels. This was highlighted in a recent Hollywood movie called The Intern, where former MD of a paper company Robert De Niro returning returned to work as an intern for an online apparel store.

It was clear while watching this movie, that as much as De Niro’s character had to learn about working in the modern world, there were valuable life lessons he had to impart too. Here are some examples of what employees age 50+ can contribute, and why your company needs them:

1. Communication skills

How we communicate may have changed over the years but the principles for effective communication remain the same. Older employees know how to phrase an email, whip up a sales report or proposal, or when to pick up the phone to engage with a client. They can tactfully disagree with a colleague or diplomatically make their feelings known to their boss.

2. A strong work ethic

People age 50+ understand that hard work pays off – and that nothing good is achieved by slacking. They’ll work until the job is done, rather than clock watching or pointing fingers when a task isn’t completed.

3. Powerful networks

Because they’ve been in the workforce for longer, older employees typically have strong networks in their specific industries. This could mean they can arrange introductory sales meetings others cannot, get your company discounts on supplies, or get your some exposure in the media if they have press contacts. Younger employees just starting their careers would find it more difficult to get this done.

4. Loyalty

While it’s not true of all employees above the age of 50, loyalty is a trait often attributed to the older generation, who typically remained working for a single company for years, if not decades. If you employee an older worker, you have more conviction that they are in it for the long haul, and aren’t likely to swap and change at the drop of a hat.

5. Extensive experience

Because they’ve seen and done it all, older employees can save your company money, whether it’s making processes more efficient, mentoring younger employees and training them, or making snap decisions that end up benefitting your business.

While older employees may require higher salaries or involve more expensive recruitment costs – this can be completely offset by the value they bring to your business. So how do you attract them? You offer solid  medical aid plans, attractive benefits packages and you ensure that your recruitment drives do not put them off by using language in your advertising that they can’t identify with. Above all, you make your older workers feel as valued as they should be – this will retain their talent and experience, and ensure that everyone in the company benefits from their rich knowledge.

Provided by Fedhealth.
Talent Management

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