How to Prepare for Baby Boomer Employees with Acquired Disabilities
There has been a shift in the employee landscape over the past few years as many older workers choose to retire from a full-time job, only to later rejoin the workforce as a part-time worker. The knowledge and hands-on experience these people bring to the table can be highly beneficial for a business, but in order for that to happen, you need to prepare for baby boomer employees with acquired disabilities. Accommodations need to be made.
Understanding Their Influence
It is a simple matter of economics and demographics that every job industry in the United States will have a rising number of baby boomers with some kind of disability in their employ. It has been estimated that over the next few decades, tens of millions of Americans over the age of 65 will be added to the total population. Currently, around half of all the people in this age group have some form of disability.
Financially speaking, many economists believe that your business needs to therefore prepare for baby boomer employees with acquired disabilities, as most of these people have only saved a fraction of what they really need to pay for living expenses during retirement. With the minimum age to collect social security going up and the significantly reduced benefits that are granted to those who chose to retire early, expect more and more people to stay working longer.
Seizing the Opportunity
While this gradual sea change may be difficult for these aging workers to accept at first, it presents a huge opportunity for you as an employer if you are able to effectively prepare for baby boomer employees with acquired disabilities. You will be able keep seasoned veterans on your staff for longer periods of time, and you can bring in sharp-minded retirees to help fill in any openings.
Choosing to rehire some of your most talented workers is one of the most economically advantageous moves you can make for your business. This is particularly true if you are still in contact with any individuals who may have recently retired from high level positions in the company, as they are likely to be willing to return in a part-time or contract-based capacity, thereby costing you less money in paychecks and benefits.
If you can financially afford it, it is in your interest to prepare for baby boomer employees with acquired disabilities as soon as you can. Make a few shifts in the daily work space that make it more inclusive for people with disabilities to get around, whether they work for you or not. Additionally, it is a good idea to inform your current employees of these changes and give them advice on how to adapt to them so that productivity is not inhibited.
Pride can also be a difficult obstacle to navigate around. Younger employees with disabilities tend to be more receptive to assistive technology such as crutches and scooters since they do not often see these things as an obstacle for working, but rather as a means of adapting to the situation. However, when an employee acquires a disability due to aging, he or she is usually opposed to openly acknowledging it, and therefore might reject the notion of this technology outright. It is best to not be confrontational about this, but to rather stay knowledgeable about the problems faced by current or potential older employees. This way, you can tailor open positions in such a fashion that making use of the adaptive technology is simply a complement to the tasks being performed rather than it being perceived as something you added to accommodate a single person.
Investing in the Future
If you can implement this awareness into your practices for hiring and advancement now, any challenges you face with the inevitable increase in disabilities down the road will take considerably less time to overcome. One of the most effective ways you can do this is to bring on younger workers with disabilities. Not only will they be prepared to use any assistive tools you have put in place, but they also might have recommendations for ways in which the workplace could be further accommodative for the older workers.
Ultimately, even though these numerous changes to prepare for baby boomer employees with acquired disabilities might seem cumbersome and potentially costly right now, it is an investment that is going to pay off and then some in the long run. In your persisting search for methods to improve your business and make all-star hires, be sure to utilize the tools and advice here at Mighty Recruiter.