Ask Pilar: Retaining Older Workers Critical for Senior Living Operators

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Many employers are focused on attracting and retaining millennials when they also should be concerned about older workers leaving their organizations. Older workers are individuals born before 1946, the year the baby boom started, and “first wave” boomers born from 1946 to 1954. Collectively, those born in this date range make up about 8.5% of people in the workforce.

When it comes to older workers, employers are thinking about succession planning, leadership development, and knowledge transfer when they should be thinking about the concepts of wisdom transfer and flexible retention. One of the most valuable assets in any organization with older, more experienced people is the accumulated wisdom of experience.

We need the youngest, least experienced people in the workforce but the oldest most-experienced, the people we know the best, we trust the most, should be the ones we are most afraid of losing.

A new report released by Argentum reveals where senior living operators stand to lose the most if they lose older workers.

The job group category of administrative support had 13% of its workers aged 65 or more years, the most of any job category, according to the report, called “The Senior Living Employee.” This category includes positions such as secretaries and administrative assistants; receptionists; office clerks; bookkeepers, accounting and auditing clerks; and first-line supervisors of administrative support workers.

The second-highest job group for older workers is business operations, which includes positions such as accountants, auditors, human resources workers, computer support specialists and market research analysts. Overall, 6% of workers in senior living are aged 65 or more years.

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