Switching gears: Shifting to reverse can rev up workplace mentoring

April 17, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Researchers report that the millennial generation now makes up the largest share of the U.S. workforce. To be sure, the baby boomer and Generation X contingents remain strong, but the sheer number of younger workers makes them a force to be reckoned with. Longtime workers may think their young colleagues have a lot to learn, but employers are finding the youngest workers also have a lot to teach.  Two Women Working At Computer In Contemporary Office

Flipped, or reverse, mentoring is one way employers can cash in on the wisdom their youngest workers bring to the workforce. Mary George Opperman, vice president and chief human resources officer at Cornell University, is scheduled to present a talk called “Reverse Mentoring: Building Meaningful Intergenerational Relationships in the Workplace” at the Business and Legal Resources THRIVE 2016 Annual Conference, scheduled for May 12-13 in Las Vegas.

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Better with age: legal issues with the aging American workforce

by Allison B. Wannop

It is undeniable that the American workforce is getting older or, shall we say, more mature. In The Aging U.S. Workforce, the Stanford Center on Longevity estimates that by 2020, workers 55 and older will make up a quarter of the U.S. labor force, up from 13% in 2000. As the Baby Boomer generation hits retirement age, employers face a host of legal issues. Some landmines are rather obvious. For example, employers cannot terminate an employee simply because of her age.

Other issues are more nuanced. What if an employee is performing poorly because of age-related reasons? Can an employer terminate an older employee whose benefits are expensive? This article provides guidance on some of the issues employers with an aging workforce face.  Age Discrimination is Bad

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Keeping the boom going: Baby boomers continue strong hold on workforce

February 17, 2013 - by: Diversity Insight 1 COMMENTS

Today’s workers are likely to celebrate their 65th birthdays with a cake and a short gathering of coworkers in the break room – not with a big retirement party complete with the awarding of a gold watch. Retirement has taken on a new look, and employers must be ready for that trend to continue.

The U.S. Census Bureau released a report in January showing that the workforce participation rate for people 65 and older has been on the rise for the past 20 years but especially during the last decade. The Census Bureau’s new American Community Survey brief says that the percentage of people 65 and older in the labor force increased from 12.1 percent in 1990 to 16.1 percent in 2010. Within the 65 and over population, 65- to 69-year-olds saw the largest increase in labor force participation.

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Categories: Boomers


Survey looks at the difference in work styles of younger, older workers

December 16, 2012 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Online job website CareerBuilder conducted a national survey between May 14 and June 4, polling more than 3,800 full-time workers and more than 2,200 hiring managers across industries and functions. Managers and workers ages 25 to 34 and managers and workers 55 and older were surveyed to get a picture of how the styles of the two groups differ.

“Age disparities in the office are perhaps more diverse now than they’ve ever been,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “It’s not uncommon to see 30-year-olds managing 50-year-olds or 65-year-olds mentoring 22-year-olds. While the tenets of successful management are consistent across generations, there are subtle differences in work habits and views that all workers must empathize with when working with or managing someone who’s much different in age.” read more…

Juggling Act: When Work and Special-Needs Parenting Collide

March 18, 2012 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

By Tammy Binford

It’s often easy for employers to be understanding when workers occasionally need to duck out of work early for a meeting at school or a trip to a child’s doctor. It happens to nearly every working parent once in a while.

But what about an employee whose child has some kind of special need, a parent whose caregiving responsibilities are seen as especially time-consuming and difficult to juggle with work responsibilities? An employer in that situation may be sympathetic but worried about getting the job done, even nervous about the reliability of the employee.

In addition to those attendance and performance concerns, employers have to be aware of legal hazards. Can an employer’s treatment of employees with special-needs children become a legal hazard? It is possible. read more…

Boomers (and Their Employers) Face Work/Life Challenges

April 17, 2011 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Modern medicine continues to increase life spans in the United States. Just as an example, the death rate for heart disease has dropped 60 percent in the last 50 years. The death rate for stroke has dropped even more, by 70 percent. And deaths from cancer have decreased 10 percent just in the last 15 years.

That all means that more people are living well into their 80s and even 90s. One consequence of that fact is that baby boomers — defined as anyone born between 1946 and 1964 — are increasingly likely to face the prospect of caring for their elderly parents. It’s the new “work/life balance” — rather than balancing work with the need to care for their young children, many are struggling to balance the demands of the workplace with the need to care for their ailing parents.

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Safety Challenges in Dealing with an Aging Workforce

With Americans living longer, they are also working longer, making older workers an invaluable part of any company. They bring wisdom, knowledge, and experience to many aspects of business. They can become mentors for younger and less experienced workers. But there are certain changes that occur to both the body and mind of every individual as they age, which can affect safety in the workplace if an employer is unaware of them and does not take steps to keep aging workers safe.

The first members of the “baby boomer” generation have entered their sixth decade — the eldest in a generation that comprises the most significant portion of the U.S. labor force today. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost a quarter of all 65- to 74-year-olds are active in the workforce, representing the highest percentage of workers in this age group since 1970. As older adults return to work after re-tirement, whether due to financial need or the desire to continue working, health and safety professionals must address this population’s needs.

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Categories: Boomers

Aging Workers Present Golden Opportunities

September 20, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

By Gary Jiles

A wise employer recognizes that with age comes solid work experience. Thus, it is beneficial to both you and the employee to accommodate the needs of your aging employees. While an older workforce may trigger a few considerations, flexibility and additional training can ensure that your employees (and business) continue to prosper.

Baby Boomers are all grown up and represent a large portion of today’s workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 40 percent of people age 55 and older consider themselves part of the workforce. Before the recession, many companies were becoming increasingly aware of the needs of older workers. However, many initiatives aimed at meeting those needs have been scrapped because of tumultuous financial times. Labor experts now fear that employers are woefully unprepared to meet the needs of the aging labor force.

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Categories: Boomers

Generation Gap: Perspective key to dealing with generational divide

March 17, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 3 COMMENTS

Here’s something you’ve probably never heard (or said): “Man, those kids in the younger generation really have their noses to the grindstone; they work much harder than we ever did.”

Fact is, there always has been a divide between generations. Each generation clashes and reacts to the one before it. Consider this analogy: The Internet is to Generation Y what rock ‘n’ roll was to the Boomers. Both are considered by the older generations to be fast and dangerous and therefore scary. Both shapes attitudes, unifies, and gives identity to those involved. Just like the Boomers’ parents couldn’t understand what all that loud music was about, the Boomers now can have a hard time relating to the global community Generation Y has found on the Web.

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Spotlight on Boomers: Boomers redefining retirement and flexibility

The face of aging in the United States is changing dramatically and rapidly, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Today’s older Americans are very different from their predecessors, living longer, having lower rates of disability, achieving higher levels of education and less often living in poverty. And the baby boomers, the first of whom celebrated their 60th birthdays in 2006, promise to redefine further what it means to grow older in America. In addition to redefining aging in America, baby boomers are redefining retirement and flexibility for the American employer.

There are approximately 76 million baby boomers in the workforce — 64 million will be eligible to retire by 2010. Conversely, there are only 46 million Gen Xers in the workforce. It only takes simple subtraction to realize that those numbers could represent a crippling deficit in employees who have knowledge and experience specific to their industries.

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Categories: Boomers