In general, our communities and the individuals in them are living healthier and longer lives, but what does that lead to? Before, when people reached the age of retirement around 65 they opted out of continuing on, but with almost 20 or more years ahead of them now they still seek that purpose and fulfillment that a career can provide. Instead of ousting these minds that have worked in the industry for years we should instead work to integrate baby boomers back into the workplace.
Bringing back these baby boomers and retirees is critical in some areas of the world, where rising living costs are making it impossible to live without continued work. Finding a space for this growing generation of citizens is not only the right thing to do, but necessary for most of the elderly population in some parts of the world.
Many employers and companies alike often overlook the older generation citing that they simply cannot learn the new methods and strategies of changing industries, but we have to learn how to properly measure skill. Where a tech savvy millennial may understand the automation and digitization that is vital in today’s business world, an older employee will have insight into the human side of business that machine learning will never be able to match.
The key to running a multigenerational office is having a clear strategy to succeed and a clear path to collaboration. In an ideal situation everyone can have a role that pushes the entire team forward. Whether that means promoting mentor ship, or giving everyone a clear task so that no one infringes on another’s role, multigenerational working is completely doable and even preferable in today’s workplace.
The truth of the new workplace is that lifelong learning is going to be needed for every generation, so starting with today’s aging population could be a wise move to start the trend. With technology changing every day and new trends in different industries shifting, a great employee has to be ready to adapt, and a great company has to be able to provide that learning opportunity. We are moving into an age where it no longer benefits to cycle in new minds and cycle out old workers to get ahead, because every employee will have to relearn skills every five years or so.
Let’s start the future of work now. Let’s allow the last generation and the newest generations to work and learn together. Let’s create age-inclusive industries where everyone can continue to find their purpose and find dignity within their working lives.