The number of workers who can be classified as aging has increased by an enormous percentage in the last few years. Due to economic hardships, there seems to be more gray hair in the workforce. While the economy is on the mend, older workers are shelving retirement. This has ramifications on a number of things for employers, but specifically impacts workers compensation needs.
As age increases, the cost of claims also goes up. There is also a higher risk of injuries and risks that are connected to health here an older population is concerned. What this means is that worker compensation premiums and cases will become costlier. This also means that employers need to make plans for the seasoned workforce and to make vital decisions involving benefits.
Medical Benefits for Older Workforce
Medical perks for an older workforce will probably not be as costlier as companied might imagine. There are some essential considerations that must be made. While the risks involved with injury and health and higher for older populations, less injuries actually occur in an older workforce as compared to the younger employees. The older generation of workers is more cautious in anything that they do and this means saving for companies. On the other hand, their injuries, as well as sicknesses, last longer than the younger generation and medical benefits are very valuable to them.
Companies can thus make prior plans for the aged workforce by having wellness programs in place. Companies can also enlighten older employees on issues that deal with health. This can help them ward off certain health issues that may affect them. This is a plus for both the company and employees because this brings about increased productivity and extended periods of retention.
The Importance of Paid Time off for Older Workers
As stated above, older employees tend to suffer from injuries and ailments that might last longer. This means that they will probably require a more adjustable work program than younger employees. Their time off work should be longer. While they might need more time to heal when sick or injured, they certainly don’t need more sick days compared to their younger workmates. They don’t need more sick off days but require some quality time to get well when they get sick or are injured.
Important Workplace Implications Involving Older Workforce
It is easy to focus only on the negative implications of an older workforce. The positives are certainly there and they are very meaningful especially in organizational culture. The presence of an older generation of workers means that a company or organization has a workforce that is well trained, experienced and quite proficient. This can be invaluable but does not automatically increase value unless companies create an atmosphere for it to be beneficial.
Encouraging Generational Ties in Multigenerational Workforce
It is vital that companies encourage an atmosphere where generational ties are advantageous. Strategies must be put in place that takes advantage of the positive opportunities provided by a mixed generation of employees. There is a need for mentor programs, programs that encourage the transfer of knowledge as well as the transfer of technologies. There are challenges involved in a multigenerational workplace and these too must be catered for. A workplace that puts in place a program where all generations develop closer interaction will have balance, ease tensions and increase productivity. Companies and organizations must make these considerations.
Legal Considerations for Older Employees
There are legal implications affiliated to elderly employees that must be put into consideration. The Family and Medical Leave Act comes into play more prominently for aging employees because they might have critical health issues and sometimes might have to take care of parents or spouses that are advancing in age. It is also essential to cultivate a work environment where there is no bias whatsoever because of age. Any legal issues must be handled with care so that the requirements of an aging workforce are not denied their legal fulfillments.
Gradual Transition to Retirement
While aging employees may stay in employment longer, they will want to retire at some point and will not work in perpetuity. A program that has a gradual phasing out process that leads to retirement is essential. Flexible plans should be put in place that includes adjustable hours and schedules as well as opportunities for telecommunicating. Aging employees might be willing to play important roles at work but are probably not capable of doing so in similar manner to younger workers. Employees have to determine whether this kind of employee can contribute to the company in other areas or capacities.
The Issue of Benefits and Additional Considerations
Older and younger employees might not have the same benefits and compensation needs. The younger generation will probably want benefits and compensation that enhance their careers while the older employees might want benefits and compensation that put into consideration the fact that they are nearing retirement. It is also essential to consider making additional arrangements that cater for older employees’ health and safety so that they do not need to use more effort that is required of them.
Providing options including special benefit arrangements for your aging workforce has a number of advantages. Aging employees generally have lots of industry knowledge and put in lots effort at work and are more willing to do more for the company. Making special provisions for them will only mean that they are more likely to stay.
Make sure you have all of aging employees covered with help from Allied Insurance Brokers. With over 15 years of experience handling all types of workers’ insurance, our team understands the nuances of your organization while having the expertise to find bottom-line driven solutions. Discover how our risk management solutions can help you lower cost and minimize your exposure by contacting Allied Insurance Brokers today.
*Allied does not deem this blog entry as a complete and thorough listing or overview of the above topic, and does not recommend it be primarily relied on. It only highlights some common issues and resolutions. For a thorough overview, please contact Allied’s Risk Engineering Division.