Network - Winter 2010 - (Page 16)

O Feature Boom Bust or Strategies for dealing with a rapidly aging workforce By Lisa Bolton t is no secret that Alberta’s workforce is aging – quickly. The number of workers in Alberta over 45 years of age grew by almost 70% between 1997 and 2007. Workers over 45 years of age now represent more than 35% of Alberta’s total workforce.1 With this trend expected to continue, employers need to plan now to ensure they are able to effectively manage and maintain their businesses. Until recently, many Alberta employers were able to recruit a seemingly endless supply of younger workers eager to stake their claim in one of Canada’s economically strongest provinces. Indeed, until recently, the primary challenge for many Alberta employers was how to transition older workers out of the workplace to reduce costs and make room for younger workers. However, the times they are a changing. Alberta’s relatively strong long-term economic outlook, increasing numbers of baby boomers approaching retirement, and a decreasing birth rate mean the province’s employers are likely to experience significant labour shortages in the not-so-distant future.2 In anticipation of this labour shortage, many employers are exploring new and creative ways to ensure they can meet their future workforce needs. Immigration and technological advances in productivity offer some strategies to meet workforce needs. However, without additional workplace plans, these strategies are not likely to remedy the impending workforce shortage. Baby I Appreciate the Aging Workforce One important and potentially significant workplace strategy is to re-think existing retention and recruitment strategies that focus primarily on younger workers, and to weigh the potential benefits of keeping older workers working longer. Older workers typically command higher salaries, it’s true. However, employers should consider some of the benefits older workers offer over their less mature, less experienced co-workers. Older workers typically: • already have the skills and experience to do the job • have highly developed institutional and industry knowledge • are loyal to the workplace, a trait likely to result in a lower rate of turnover • have existing relationships with customers and clients • have networking connections and • have an established profile in the industry. © www.istockphoto.com/Yuri Arcurs 16 O www.hria.ca NETWORK O Winter 2010 http://www.istockphoto.com http://www.hria.ca

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Network - Winter 2010

Network - Winter 2010
Contents
HRIA President’s Message
HRIA Board of Directors
The Legalities of Mandatory Retirement
Unwanted Early Retirement
Baby Boom or Bust Strategies for Dealing With a Rapidly Aging Workforce
Retirement: Private Savings Plan Contributions Decreasing
Baby Boomer Steps
Retirement Is About More Than Just Money
What‘s Happening Here? HR’s Evolving Role in Dealing With Different Generations
Retirees Need a Game Plan
The HR Office
Index of Advertisers

Network - Winter 2010

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