Retaining the older workforce: social policy considerations for the universally designed workplace (US)


Even in the midst of massive layoffs that come with an economic downturn, employers must remain aware of the pending impact of their aging workforce. Losing older employees to retirement drains knowledge and expertise. In response, employers are looking at new ways to retain older workers at the same time that older workers are reevaluating the traditional approach to retirement. This article presents findings from case study research consisting of interviews with key employees at 18 companies in 13 states. Five of those companies subsequently participated in in-person site visits. Interviews were held with a wide range of informants, including company leadership, supervisors, and older workers. Findings include a description of the cultural context within which the development of formal and informal older worker retention strategies occurred, as well as the retention strategies themselves. The discussion section explores the universal nature of these retention initiatives and how consideration of universality benefits not only older workers but a range of diverse groups as well.

SOURCE: Jaimie Ciulla Timmonsa; Allison Cohen Halla; Sheila Lynch Feskob and Alberto Migliorea, “Retaining the Older Workforce: Social Policy Considerations for the Universally Designed Workplace”,Journal of Aging & Social Policy, Volume 23, Issue 2, 2011, Pages 119 – 140

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