An Aging Workforce is a Competitive Advantage

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Lisa Taylor

By Lisa Taylor, Challenge Factory

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

The dramatic impact of longevity on organizations was predicted decades ago. Indeed, in 1961, President John F. Kennedy put a formal structure in place to ensure that Congress would be attentive to the opportunities and challenges increased life expectancy presented to existing programs and policies. Since science had added years to our lives, Kennedy’s vision was to ensure added life to our years.

Longer life expectancy implies longer workspan

One corollary: increased life expectancy means longer work-life too.

Today, more than five decades later, topping the list of strategic issues plaguing senior executives are the aging workforce, succession planning, knowledge transfer and the skills gap. In short, organizations are far behind the rising curve of workplace demographics and are scrambling to catch up. The ones that do are bound to reap substantial rewards.

30 to 40% of many workforces are now over 50 years old

According to the Human Capital Management Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “total human capital costs, also known as total cost of workforce, average nearly 70% of operating expenses.” In many organizations 30-40% of the workforce is now over 50 — or will be by 2030. That number accounts for no less than 25-30% of operating expenses.

Put another way, misjudging or underusing the talent pool is extremely costly. Yet for most organizations, career paths, talent programs and workforce planning are based on outdated assumptions about the aging segment of their workforce.

Recent research points to an inescapable conclusion: Forward thinking CEOs and leadership teams have a brief window of opportunity to leverage the 50+ workforce if they seek to gain a competitive advantage.

As a company whose principal focus is to challenge old career models and generate new talent management strategies for organizations and individuals, Challenge Factory undertook a project to assess current attitudes regarding the shift in workplace demographics.

Download the free full report that summarizes our findings and challenges forward thinking CEOs to capitalize.

Challenge Factory is a North American thought leader on topics related to demographics, longevity and the changing workforce. Challenge Factory programs transform outdated career, talent and succession management models inside of organizations, support managers to become better career advisors and guide individuals to find Legacy Careers®. Lisa is a sought after keynote speaker, writer and strategist. www.challengefactory.ca

See also Lisa’s first piece for the Hub, which ran on June 9th under the headline We may be saving enough, yet still not be ready for Retirement.

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