Age is Just a Number: Why the Aging Construction Workforce is a Good Thing
Recently, Equipment World covered a topic that is effecting every industry across the board. As we see more experienced employees begin to age, we’re also seeing employers make decisions about their future with the company. Too frequently, unfair judgments are made about these employees, which is why in this post we highlight the benefits of keeping these employees around.
#1. No Guessing Necessary
You already know they are hard workers and are loyal to your company. They’ve proved time and time again that they can get the work done, otherwise they wouldn’t still be with the company! You also already know their workstyle, type of communication and how they react under pressure. There’s no learning curve with these elements!
#2. Reevaluate Tasks Due to Physical Limitations
Physical limitation comes with the territory as we get older, but this offers a unique opportunity for the industry. Rethinking how a task is done opens up the ability to find a more efficient approach. Whether the solution is finding a device to help with the task or something else, it’s likely that this will not only help older generations of workers, but also the younger ones as well.
In fact, a recent study from CNA even noted that construction workers in particular are more susceptible to opioid abuse, which is likely due to the physical strain related to the job. The report also estimated that 15.1% of construction workers participate in illicit drug use.
So not only is it important to reassess how to do these physical tasks for the older generations of employees, but also to prevent the enormous cost associated with opioid addiction within the industry for the future generations to come.
#3. Don’t Need to Incentivize
It’s widely known that the benefits associated with Social Security aren’t nearly the same amount as a salary. Older employees are automatically incentivized to work as long as possible and are therefore dedicated to doing the job well. Additionally, with the widespread knowledge around health practices these days, this group of older employees is typically much healthier than that of those 10 years ago and therefore are aiming to work longer.
#4. Fewer Hours Could Be Better
Another option is to transition these employees from full-time to part-time instead of removing them from your team completely. Fewer hours from these employees doesn’t have to be a bad thing either! These employees clearly have an incredible amount of knowledge and still having access to it is important. More importantly though, is that the employee doesn’t have to worry about losing scheduled days.
The article by Equipment World does a great job of also noting that these benefits include a lot of assumptions about what older generation employees prefer. The most important thing is that you sit down and have a conversation with them because they truly are an asset to your business.