Why Older Workers Can Be the Cure for Worker Shortages

As businesses struggle to find enough qualified workers to fulfill their employment needs, older Americans might be the solution to their staffing shortage.

As the country experiences record inflation on the heels of the pandemic, many businesses are finding it difficult to find reliable employees to meet demands. So, why not turn to those who were reliable, dependable, and maintained a positive attitude throughout the pandemic, our older Americans?

According to Harvard Business Review, the myth that was pushed by the retirement industry  years ago that people should retire at 65 has long since gone by the wayside.  The industry spent billions telling us that older adults should spend their time traveling, playing golf, and hanging by the pool.  Sadly, the research shows that those who hang it up and retire often suffer serious illnesses from heart attacks to depression. 

The reality is older workers enjoy working. It gives older Americans a sense of purpose and extends their quality of life.  Charles Schwab conducted a survey a decade ago that showed 76% of those in their 50s and 60s continued working because they wanted to.  Even though the money was a leading factor for 61% of those surveyed, enjoying their co-workers and not being ready to retire were substantial factors as well.  The compelling stat that hit home was many older workers stated that working in the twilight years was the happiest time of their working career and believed the best was yet to come.  Those words should be eye-opening for all business owners, as well as these 4 special qualities many older workers possess:

Work Ethic- Generally, businesses have been somewhat skeptical hiring older workers thinking their skills have deteriorated or have become obsolete. Those concerns have all but dissipated and this age bracket is now showcasing their talents, knowledge, expertise, and stability about returning to work.  

Reliability- Older workers help the ship stay steady.  Any successful business needs dependable workers to succeed. Statistics show older workers are typically the first ones to report on the job and rarely take days off. Being punctual, meeting deadlines, and delivering on key responsibilities are important features that are essential for all business owners.

Perseverance-- Life is full of setbacks, adversity, and trials.  The older we get, the easier it seems to push through tough times since older workers have had their share of challenges during their lifetime.  They have experienced an uncanny ability to finish projects and maintain a level head despite adversity.

Experience- After many years in the job force, older adults have acquired the skills necessary to compete and help a company flourish.  They continue to have the mindset that they are open to continuing education if necessary.  American Senior Alliance sees record numbers who are interested and intrigued with technology.  This self-improvement attitude seems to lift others in the workforce and sets the bar high for colleagues.  When you have employees willing to improve their skill set, it ultimately filters down to customers and the business owners' bottom line.

Now with inflation driving up the cost of groceries, fuel, and medications, it is likely older workers will continue the tasks they love.  In return, employers will receive great value, dependability, and loyalty which are a few of the key ingredients for businesses to thrive.


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