2013: A Year in Review for Experienced Workers
A record-setting stock market has added to 401(k) and 401(b) accounts held by 40+ employees and a public conversation about a livable wage made 2013 a better year for experienced workers. I loved 2013 because many experienced workers that I know were able to make career changes or find work after being among the long-term (>1 year) unemployed. It was not a great year because:
(1) too few human resource departments are developing employee strategies focused on retaining, engaging and leveraging an older workforce
(2) age discrimination runs more rampant in companies primarily because severance packages prevent employees from filing lawsuits- so the behavior goes unchecked and the burden of proof continues to clearly supports business, not the employee
(3) four generations in the workforce-for the first time in history-requires training and development strategies to boost employee engagement; a different type of leadership strategy including reviewing the total reward structure—benefits, recognition, compensation, paid time off and development opportunities across the workforce—not for targeted age groups; it Is not happening in most companies
(4) recent rulings have not supported the reform of the Supreme Court’s decision in Jack Gross v. FBL Insurance that made it harder to sue with age discrimination as the reason
Yes, companies are hiring more workers in their 40s, 50s and 60+s. I can’t say how other employees or managers act toward their mid-life co-workers or whether corporate infrastructure supports their attempt to thrive in the workforce. Trends for experienced workers in 2014 are the subject for a future blog post.