VALUING EXPERIENCED HUMAN CAPITAL: THE OLDER WORKER. A WINNER FOR THE ECONOMY
Bowie State University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:It is hoped that employers will help older workers remain productive by utilizing these workers’ skills, knowledge and attitude about effective work practices. The labor force in the United States is in a transformational situation, because many workers are reaching the age of retirement and if and when they retire the great talents that these workers have will leave out of the front door with the workers. By the year 2020, the number of U.S. workers will be 55 years of age or older. The demographics for the U.S. work force are being driven by the baby boom generation. Over a quarter or 20 percent of the U.S. working population will soon exit our public and private organizations of employment, but before these individuals depart our employment rosters some smart employers will give them an added role to train and mentor young and new incoming workers. According to Jaworski (2005), there will be five to ten million individuals needed for the work force globally. The low birthrate and the aging current workers are helping to justify the given statistics. Therefore, many employers globally are rethinking the value of the older worker.
Because there have been many workers who have chosen to work longer years for various reasons, employers in many agencies are showing the older workers that they are valued and appreciated. By keeping the older worker, employers can see how these workers can help to improve the workforce performance of other employees. According to Houghton (2005) there is a need to develop and implement innovative ways to retain these employees or individuals who are able and willing to share their knowledge and experiences with others.
There are some myths and realities about the older workers’ abilities in reference to their comfort in using technology applications and software. Based on the research, most older workers would participate in the comfort use of technology, if their supervisor would engage them more in relevant professional development training to learn new and improved technologies. If older workers are shying away from learning and using technology, perhaps it is due to the lack of encouragement and opportunity afforded to them by the leadership of the organization. The research further states that the older worker may not be as assertive in learning new technologies compared to the younger worker. But if given appropriate training with their peers, the older worker can and does learn to use technology in an effective manner
Keywords: Older Worker, Baby Boom Generation, Human Capital.