Monday, January 14, 2013

How Companies Must Adapt for an Aging Workforce - David Bloom and David Canning - Harvard Business Review

With each advancing year, or even with the receipt of each paycheck, I receive a not too subtle reminder that my career is approaching its end. And with each reminder I wonder whether my career will end in a phased process or in an abrupt end.

This blog from the Harvard Business Review makes for interesting reading for everyone affected and that is all of us. But some of us, especially businesses, don't seem to be paying attention.

"Business has been slow to plan for population aging, but delay won't be an option for much longer. Unemployment is high now, but as labor markets tighten, especially in Europe and Japan, companies will soon have little choice but to welcome older employees. Indeed, prompt action to harness — and enhance — the contributions of older workers will be seen as a key competitive advantage.

Responding effectively to longer lifespans will require changes in business practices and public policies. Allowing people more freedom of choice regarding the timing of retirement is a good start. Our research (with our colleagues Jocelyn Finlay and Guenther Fink) on male life expectancy in 43 countries between 1965 and 2005 shows an average rise of 8.8 years; for the same period, the mean legal retirement age for men rose by only 0.4 year. Social security systems in many countries create strong incentives for retirement between the ages of 60 and 65. Pension contribution and payout schedules will need to be examined and optimized so as to enable, encourage, and capture the benefits of prolonged careers."

To read the complete post, go here:

How Companies Must Adapt for an Aging Workforce - David Bloom and David Canning - Harvard Business Review