Older Food Worker

These 7 principles could help employers attract and retain older frontline workers

Report: Analysis and research makes case for hiring and promoting older workers

A new article in the Harvard Business Review makes the case that older workers, and an intergenerational workforce, can help employers fill much-needed frontline jobs.

Co-authors Paul Irving, Bob Kramer, Jacquelyn Kung, and Ed Frauenheim write in 7 Principles to Attract and Retain Older Frontline Workers that older workers want and need to work longer. Based on the authors’ interviews and survey data of 35,000 older, experienced employees in the United States, they conclude that there are seven key strategies that will enable employers to hire and retain these workers.

They are: designing purposeful roles, enabling flexible schedules, adapting pay policies, accommodating physical challenges, communicating clearly, building community, and tackling ageism.

Here is some of why, according to the authors, employers should adopt these strategies.

“In this changing and challenging business environment – where employers must address staff absenteeism, presenteeism, and costly turnover compounded by pent-up consumer frustrations – hiring older and more experienced workers can be a huge help. In these workers, employers often gain not only employees with loyalty and reliability, but also sound judgement in addressing critical customer needs.

“An emerging body of research also confirms that older employees bring a collaborative spirit to the workplace and enable organizations to benefit from the diversity of intergenerational teams – blending the energy of youth and the experience of age. More broadly, these workers can help address a long-term labor shortage that the United States and many other developed nations, including Germany, Australia, and Japan, are facing.”

You can read the entire report and analysis here: