The Aging Workforce
Publication Date: November 29, 2018
In many countries the population is aging rapidly. In the United States, one in five Americans will be 65 or older by 2030. This shift will affect every aspect of business operations, but corporate leaders don’t seem to grasp the many ways an aging workforce will change the rules of the game. Those who do realize this see a crisis, not an opportunity. In the article “When No One Retires,” Paul Irving lays out a “longevity strategy” for fostering a vibrant multigenerational workforce. In “The Longevity Opportunity,” he considers the consumer-facing side of that strategy and explains why companies need to adapt their offerings to older customers. In “Rethinking Retraining,” Harvard Business School professor Willy C. Shih, Bain management consultant Howie Rudnick, and their colleague Colleen Tapen challenge the belief that older workers can’t learn new skills. They maintain that reskilling creates a workforce that can continue to learn in the face of change. In “Caring for Your Company’s Caregivers,” Sarita Gupta and Ai-jen Poo, of Caring Across Generations, explain how companies can lessen the burden placed on the sandwich generation–those with both aging parents and young children–by creating flexible workplaces and supporting caregiver employees. In “Retirement-Proof Your Company,” professors Peter Berg and Matthew Piszczek present their research on why so few companies are taking steps to address the aging of their workforces. In “Just How Old Are We Getting?” Ramsay Khabbaz and Matt Perry curate data on the rapidly aging American workforce and its effect on people’s lives. Their snapshots reveal both optimism and pessimism. When younger workers can’t advance because older workers are blocking their paths, firms face a growing intergenerational conflict. In “What Happens to Younger Workers When Older Workers Don’t Retire,” management and strategy professors Nicola Bianchi, Jin Li, and Michael Powell offer ways in which companies can begin to tackle the problem.
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The Aging Workforce
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