Accommodating an Aging Workforce
With more baby boomers postponing retirement, the effects of an aging workforce are becoming a concern for many organizations. By 2020, it is projected that 25% of workers will be over the age of 55, and since older workers are more likely to have disabilities, employers will have to adjust to meet the shifting needs of their workforce. According to a survey by the Disability Management Employer Coalition and Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute, most employers recognize the issue. Just over 85% said they were very or somewhat concerned about the impact of an aging workforce. However, their concern has not translated into universal action-—64% of businesses have not considered the aging workforce in designing absence and disability management programs. To close this gap, researchers suggested that employers concentrate on certain key elements of disability management, including practicing flexibility in scheduling and work location, maintaining and enhancing benefits, implementing wellness and return-to-work programs, instituting proactive safety checks, making certain physical and strategic accommodations for older workers, and improving corporate communication and culture to take an aging workforce into consideration.