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Small Business Digest


Working Longer: the Secret Weapon for Winning the War on Talent

With legions of Baby Boomers approaching retirement age, employers may soon be facing a shortage of skilled, knowledgeable workers and a loss of institutional knowledge.

The work force is aging quickly and employees of retirement age account for an increasingly significant percentage of the average company's workforce.

By 2012, workers who are 55 and older will make up about 19% of the labor force, compared with 14% in 2002, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now more than ever, it is imperative that employers begin viewing their older workers as their most valuable assets.

While many employers have traditionally viewed their younger employees as their most precious assets, the truth is that their more seasoned workers are often their most valuable.

Written by those in the field of workforce education and the management of older workers, WORKING LONGER: New Strategies for Managing, Training, and Retaining Older Employees (AMACOM, 2008) gives recruiters, managers, and trainers the tools they need to nurture and empower these vital employees.

As the authors emphasize, "The dramatic increase in the number of middle-aged and older workers in the U.S. national labor force is transforming the world of work. People are exploring working longer, new career and employment options, and the use of experience in new and challenging ways. There is a need to rethink how we see middle and older adulthood." This book arms employers with an action-oriented "how to" manual, based on best practices and research, on such crucial topics as:

* HR challenges raised by older workers
* Health and safety needs of older adult workers
* Using creativity to tap the retiree base
* Measuring skill acquisition
* Training programs and apprenticeships that prepare older adults for the changing
* Career and performance management techniques for effectively motivating and engaging older workers

The book is divided into three parts. 

Part One synthesizes information about adult development and how this affects learning and performance capabilities at work and examines implications for how organizations might alter the physical environment and organizational conditions to make working longer a desirable option for older adults. 

Part Two provides answers to issues raised in Part One and Part Three enables organizations to be proactive in getting ahead of the trends. 

Part Three also provides checklists designed for small, mid-size and large businesses to use in preparing for the workforce of the future.
WORKING LONGER shows employers how to value, coach, and keep their most experienced people.

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