The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2014 - (Page 17)

ASK YOUR EXPERT ADVICE BOARD Q "A topic we are facing at our company is an aging workforce. We've seen a trend emerge that people are finding they want (or need) to work longer in their careers. We're finding that isn't always a good thing. Has anybody else noticed this trend and, if so, how are you dealing with it at your company?" Will Egerton, VP Operations, Wecon Systems, Ontario, Canada Jerry Weidmann, President Wisconsin Lift Truck Corp., Brookfield, WI A The average age of our workforce is 48 years old. Almost 25 percent of our staff is over 55 years of age. Our approach to managing the aging workforce includes the following elements: 1. Identification. Our HR department updates a succession planning list of our workforce annually. Managers are provided an updated list of their staff over the age of 55. 2. Discussion. As part of the annual review process our managers are encouraged to understand the career plans for all employees. We generally know what each individual's plans are regarding retirement well in advance of their actual planned retirement date. 3. Strategies/Alternatives. a. A transition plan is developed for any of our employees who advise us of their planned retirement date. Our goal is to transfer knowledge to the person taking over the retiree's position. b. Depending on the position, we may be able to offer part-time work or flexible hours for individuals who do not wish to fully retire. But this decision is made by each manager for their department. It is our belief that all employees, regardless of age, be required to perform all normal functions of their job. If we have computer systems that support their position, we expect them to understand the computer technology. If we introduce new technologies or the technology in their position changes, we expect every employee to adapt. If someone needs training, we provide training. It is our view that years of service and age do not provide an entitlement. Everyone is expected to fulfill the requirements of their job. In the event someone does not wish to stay up to date or perform what is required, we will meet with them to determine if there are other alternatives that will work for them and the company. It may involve going part time, retiring, or taking a different position. In all cases our expectations of performance are not compromised. Richard Donnelly, EVP Gregory Poole Equipment Company, Raleigh, NC A I agree there is a growing trend that individuals are finding that they want (or need) to work longer in their careers. Some of our long-term workers are continuing to do their job very well and we do not want them to retire. It would be very difficult to replace the knowledge they have gained through the years. Others are just coasting until they retire and we would like for them to retire. Two ways we have addressed this issue is that we have periodically offered an "Early Out" and a "Phased Retirement" plan. If you are at minimum age and service with the company, you would qualify for the "Early Out" plan. The key conditions of the plan are a retirement bonus and extended insurance coverage. Our success with this plan has been very good with employees who qualify and would like to retire, and we want them to retire. Employees who qualify and are not sure if they want to retire, but would like to work less hours and the company does not want them to retire, are offered the "Phased Retirement." This allows employees to receive the benefits of the "Early Out" plan and move into a temporary assignment working about two to three days a week. Their compensation would be adjusted, and they would qualify for the extended insurance coverage of the "Early Out" plan. A major benefit to this plan is the retiree is available to perform certain tasks and share knowledge with their replacement. It is a win-win for the company and employee. The MHEDA Journal | Second Quar ter 2 014 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2014

President’s Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Editor’s Note
Ask Your Board
MHEDA Member Profile
Howard Bernstein and MHEDA: 60 Years of Superhero Leadership
Get Aggressive and Start Thinking Big
Managing an Acquisition
Creating a Best-in-Class Safety Program
Exhibitor Product Guide
Floor Plan
MHEDA University Calendar
Inside, Outside or Upside Down
Six Secrets of Top Performers
Finding Your Path in (Or Out) of the Family Business
What is This Thing Called Employee Engagement?
‘Fleet Centricity’ and Finance Partners
New Members
Spotlight on Association News
MHEDA Milestones
Index of Advertisers by Product Category

The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2014