Answered Essay: Online case discussion #2 The Encore Career Over the past century

Online case discussion #2

The Encore Career

Over the past century, the average age of the workforce has increased as medical science has continued to enhance longevity and vitality. As we discussed in this chapter, many individuals will work past the previously established ages of retirement, and the fastest-growing segment of the workforce is individuals over the age of 55.

Unfortunately, older workers face a variety of discriminatory attitudes in the workplace. Researchers scanned more than 100 publications on age discrimination to determine what types of age stereotypes were most prevalent across studies. They found that stereotypes inferred that older workers are lower performers. Research, on the other hand, indicates they are not, and organizations are realizing the benefits of this needed employee group.

Dale Sweere, HR director for engineering firm Stanley Consultants, is one of the growing number of management professionals actively recruiting the older workforce. Sweere says older workers “typically hit the ground running much quicker and they fit into the organization well.” They bring to the job a higher skill level earned through years of experience, remember an industry’s history, and know the aging customer base.

Tell that to the older worker who is unemployed. Older workers have long been sought by government contractors, financial firms, and consultants, according to Cornelia Gamlem, president of consulting firm GEMS Group Ltd., and she actively recruits them. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average job search for an unemployed worker over age 55 is 56 weeks, versus 38 weeks for the rest of the unemployed population.

Enter the encore career, a.k.a. unretirement. Increasingly, older workers who aren’t finding fulfilling positions are seeking to opt out of traditional roles. After long careers in the workforce, an increasing number are embracing flexible, work-from-home options such as customer service positions. For instance, Olga Howard, 71, signed on as an independent contractor for 25–30 hours per week with Arise Virtual Solutions, handling questions for a financial software company after her long-term career ended. Others are starting up new businesses. Chris Farrell, author of Unretirement, said, “Older people are starting businesses more than any other age group.” Others funnel into nonprofit organizations, where the pay may not equal the individual’s previous earning power, but the mission is strong. “They need the money and the meaning,” said CEO Marc Freedman. Still others are gaining additional education, such as Japan’s “silver entrepreneurs,” who have benefited from the country’s tax credits for training older workers.

Individuals who embark on a second-act career often report they are very fulfilled. However, the loss of workers from their longstanding careers may be undesirable. “In this knowledge economy, the retention of older workers gives employers a competitive edge by allowing them to continue to tap a generation of knowledge and skill,” said Mark Schmit, executive director of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation. “New thinking by HR professionals and employers will be required to recruit and retain them. Otherwise, organizations’ greatest asset will walk out the door.”


What changes in employment relationships are likely to occur as the population ages?

Do you think increasing age diversity will create new challenges for managers? What types of challenges do you expect will be most profound?

How can organizations cope with differences ­related to age discrimination in the workplace? How can older employees help?

Expert Answer

What changes in employment relationships are likely to occur as the population ages?

There was a fact that older employees are under performers and can do very less work.Many of the companies are modifying the jobs according to the ages because older people have definitely families and they have to spent more time with so,many companies are used to offer the polices after the retirement so that older people will be the part of the company for long time.As they are aged people so they should have less working hours.Changes not only positive but some changes shows negative effects also about the resistance to new technology so, training should be provided awareness abut the new technology so that they can use technology to do work more easily.If the older employee works for the longer time then it will be very hard to quit that job.

Do you think increasing age diversity will create new challenges for managers?What type of challenges do you expect will be most profound?

According to my point of view increasing in the age diversity will create new challenges to the managers.As the time passes very less employees used to worry about to forcing diversity in the workplace. Managers face some challenges when the the new employees from various backgrounds interact with the long standing employees.If the new employees and long standing employees comprises of a team at the time of project the managers have a tough challenge for this kind of situations a separate classes and training will be provided for the managers.Older employees should be more motivated for challenging the management of that they can work equal to the new employees. So,that older people are also should be tarted equal to the new employees.Another challenge managers have about the technology because older people takes more time to understand and adopt the new versions in the technology so,it would be difficult task to train them.

How can organization’s cope with difference related to age discrimination in the workplace? How can older employees help?

It’s the management responsibility to create a good working culture climate in the workplace.Employees should definitely know about the age discrimination and what are the consequences that can be seen in discrimination. As an employee join in our organisation he should be strictly know about the polices and to prevent the age discrimination. If the age descrimination was files then management should know how to solve the problems .By grouping the older and the new employees this kind of discrimination can be eliminated and can see the healthy environment in the work place .Older people have more experience in some instances old experience can be more help to do the task so that older employees help more at the time.They also give some good suggestions for the success of the company.

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