Professor Donna Trent
February 18, 2012
Managing Age and Ability
The Department of Labor estimates that by the year 2012, the Labor Force will be over age 55 (Harvey 184). In a time when issues such as Age and Ability are at the far front for a lot of employers, understanding how to deal with an aging workforce is essential. The debate on how to address this issue is only beginning. There are a host of issues that surround age and ability in the workplace, but examining a few could give a glimpse in the magnitude of the challenge. First, Age, how does it affect a company’s ability to manage long term. Secondly, Ability to perform the assigned task continually. With respect to age certain facts are undeniable. As workers become older, younger workers are always there to fill in, however, because more and more older workers are choosing not to retire, log jams are popping up in many large companies. The positives here are that older workers can be assets, not liabilities to their employers. Older workers retain their mental faculties, can learn new skills, and are not necessarily more rigid. Healthy older workers do not cost more in medical benefits than younger employees with children at home. With the proper guidance older workers can provide training to younger workers at little cost to the employer. The passing of knowledge from older workers to younger ones could mean a great deal to an employers long term goals and its competitive abilities. Some would argue that the consequence to keeping older workers out weighs the benefits. Another argument says employers believe that older workers are not encouraged to pursue job related education, training, and promotional opportunities, and create an environment in which older workers may see themselves ignored and excluded. In some cases when their responsibilities have been reduced, they ultimately feel pressured to leave the work place. “Jokes” about...
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