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Workforce Planning: Aging and Employment Module 6: Careers and Aging Workers

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  1. Workforce Planning: Aging and EmploymentModule 6: Careers and Aging Workers Barbara McIntosh, Ph.D.

  2. Careers and Aging WorkersModule Overview • Managing organizational commitment and career engagement. • Retention and transitions. • Managing hours of work. • Recapturing retirees. • The federal government interface: • Employment and training legislation. • Proposed older worker legislation.

  3. Career Engagement and Aging A career is a sequence of positions, jobs or occupations that one person engages in during his or her working life. Career engagement is defined within the context of a single internal labor market (one organization). In a traditional career model, there is upward mobility and leveling off at some point before exit (retirement).

  4. Organizational Commitment by Age

  5. Research Questions Are there significant differences in the importance of different job characteristics as predictors of career engagement? Do these predictors change for different age groups? Answers suggest what a manager can do to increase organization commitment.

  6. Research Evidence on Career Engagement Palumbo, M.V., McIntosh, B., & Rambur, B. (2003). RN Job Analysis and Retention Study. Office of Nursing Workforce Planning, Research, and Development, University of Vermont. Methodology: • Mailed survey to sample of 3,000 from a list of all registered nurses in VT in 2002 (n=7,028). • 1,574 out of 2,778 surveys were returned for a 56.7 percent response rate.

  7. Dependent Measure: Career Engagement Career Engagement Measure (Cronbach’s alpha =.82) created by combining the three questions below: How satisfied are you with: • Promotion opportunities in this organization? • The support for continuing education in this organization? • The attention paid to career development?

  8. Measures: Independent Variables Age Education Years in current position Full time or part-time employment Plans to leave in less than 5 years No plans about staying in current position Job involvement (Lorence and Mortimer, 1985) Job characteristics (Hackman and Oldham, 1974)

  9. Results: Age Cohort Analyses <40 years of age Educ. Level -.18** Yrs. Position -.15* Leave <5 -.17* Feedback job .16* Feedback from others .24** Adj R²=.16 n=218 40-55 years of age Autonomy .22*** Feedback from others .31*** Dealing w/others .15*** Adj. R²=.28 n=614 55+ years of age PT/FT -.13* Patient Care -.11* Leave <5 -.16* No Plans -.13* Job Involve .17** Autonomy .17** Feedback from others .22** Adj. R²=.27 n=288 55+ years of age/NOT retiring Patient Care -.21* Leave <5 -.18* Job Involve .18* Feedback from Others .27** Adj. R²= .27 n=116

  10. Discussion Managerial implications: • Older nurses in this study had higher levels of career engagement than younger nurses. • Feedback from others is critical to all ages. • Autonomy is significant after age 40. • Working with others is significant for those 40 to 55. • Feedback and job options are critical for older nurses. Data does not show how we change as we age (cross-sectional data limitation).

  11. Retention and Career Transitions Capitalize on older worker’s job satisfaction Value added for the organization Definitions Managing careers and employee development Individual career stages Career choices and preferences Retention tools

  12. Capitalize on Job Satisfaction

  13. Value Added for the Organization Needed talent will be available. Improved ability to attract and retain talented employees. Minorities and women have comparable opportunities for growth and development. Improved morale/reduced frustration. Enhanced cultural diversity. Organizational goodwill.

  14. Definitions Development: Long-term (intermediate) training for possible future positions. Career: Patterns of work-related experiences over one’s lifetime. Advancement in a job. Advancement in a profession. Stability in work over time. Career Development: Long-term success of people in the organization. Career Transitions: Exploring and moving into new careers after age 40.

  15. Managing Careers: Employee Development • Performance is the prerequisite! Accountability and recognition, the exchange. • Shared responsibility: • Identify aspirations. • Target experiences, time frame, pay-offs. • Think outside the box: • Development; educational/re-tooling sabbaticals. • Reverse mentoring. • Inter-organization exchanges.

  16. Individual Career StagesCareer Choices and Preferences Stages: Exploration Establishment Mid Career Late Career Choices and preferences: How do these change as we age?

  17. Retention Tools • Tap into changing development and career preferences – transitions. • Movement within the organization. • Increased opportunity for community service (corporate social responsibility – CSR). • Offer flexibility. • Hours. • Location. • Responsibilities.

  18. Transitions What Am I Going to Do with the Rest of My Life? • Emerging perspectives on the last third of life and productive activity. Lessons and networking: • Grassroots non-profit organizations • The Transition Network: • Women Venture:

  19. Flexibility: Hours and Location • Surveys consistently find that older workers plan to work past the traditional retirement ages of 62-65, but not on a full-time or year-round basis. • 38 percent of Baby Boomers would like to cycle in and out of work.¹ • A majority of workers 50 years of age and older would like to have a phased retirement arrangement.² Sources: • Harris Interactive and Dychtwald, K. (2005). The Merrill Lynch New Retirement Survey: A perspective from the Baby Boom generation. • Watson Wyatt Worldwide (2004). Phased retirement: Aligning employer programs with worker preferences. Washington DC: Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

  20. Flexibility Options Reduced hours in the same occupation/industry. Phased retirement (Henretta, 1997). Sporadic employment after retirement (Sterns and Gray, 1999). Reduced hours in a different industry/occupation— “bridge employment” (Moen and Wethington, 1999).

  21. Flexibility: Same Occupation and Industry • Flexible hours: • Part time. • Part year. • Flexible schedules: • Alternative workweek arrangements. • Sabbaticals. • Flexible locations: • Virtual teams (global initiatives). • Snow bird programs.

  22. Flexibility • Phased retirement— Formal programs limited by legal concerns See: Sheaks, C., Pitt-Catsouphes, M., & Smyer, M. (August 2007). Workplace Flexibility 2010: Legal and Research Summary Sheet: Phased Retirement. The Center on Aging & Work/Workplace Flexibility, Boston College.

  23. Phased Retirement Program Features Allows older workers to reduce or modify work as they approach retirement. Enables workers who are eligible for retirement to collect some portion of their pension while continuing to work. Permits rehiring of organization’s retirees. Gives retirees the option of working for others or starting their own business.

  24. Capturing Returnees Individuals with high autonomy and high- demand jobs are most likely to return to work after formal retirement (Beck, 1983). Those with higher levels of education are more likely to continue working after age 65 or return to work (Tillenbaum, 1971). White collar workers are significantly more likely than blue collar workers to return (Streib and Schneider, 1971).

  25. Leading-Edge Solutions: MetLife Recommendations 2007 Create and leverage a network of former employees. Rehire retirees indirectly on a per-project basis when pension restrictions prevent direct re-employment. Hire retirees with special expertise to participate in critical projects.

  26. Leading-Edge Solutions: MetLife Recommendations 2007 Tap into the expanding pool of older people seeking employment. Treat phased retirement and flexible work options as a managed program, not just a vaguely defined policy. Create effective knowledge-sharing relationships between older mentors and younger workers.

  27. Leading-Edge Solutions: MetLife Recommendations 2007 To encourage some employees to remain in the workforce past age 65, sponsor benefits and retirement planning workshops that focus on the economic consequences of leaving the workforce. Make knowledge transfer an explicit part of any job when rehiring a retiree.

  28. Older Americans Act Title III State and Community Grants – AAA. Supportive services and senior centers. Nutrition services (congregate, home-delivered, school-based). In-home frail. Needs for special assistance. Disease prevention and health promotion. Supportive activities for caretakers. Title IV training.

  29. Older Americans Act Title V Senior Community Service Employment Program for Older Americans (SCSEP). Title VI Grants for Native Americans. Title VII Vulnerable Elder Rights Protection. Prevention of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. State elder rights and legal assistance.

  30. Workforce Investment Act (WIA) HRC: state WIBs: local Interagency coordination/partnership: Department of Employment and Training (DET) One-Stop Centers

  31. Political Environment 2007: Two Older Worker Bills (Sen. H. Kohl, D-WI) Older Worker Opportunity Act of 2007: Would give employers a tax credit for employing older workers in flexible programs. Would extend a caregiving credit for older workers. Health Care and Training for Older Workers Act: Would have extended COBRA coverage for older workers. Extended improved access to job training programs. Created a clearinghouse of best practices for hiring and retaining older workers.

  32. SUPPLEMENTAL SLIDES The individual perspective: • Personal strategies • Re-shaping work – alternatives • Negotiating change • Negotiating – process issues • Understanding employer response

  33. Individual Perspective: Enhancing Your Career Know yourself. Manage your reputation. Build and maintain network contacts. Keep current. Balance your specialist and generalist competencies. Document your achievements. Keep your options open.

  34. Reshaping Work: Alternatives What are your goals? Flexibility? Part time Part year Phased retirement Job Change? Promotion: management responsibilities. Lateral move: it is time to do something different. Third-party consultant: contract relationship.

  35. Reshaping Work: Alternatives What are your goals? Stay in current job, but… Drop some content components, add others (job enrichment vs. job enlargement). Add that creativity piece! Add a mentoring role for yourself!

  36. Negotiating Change It’s all in how you ask. Personal style. Gently refuse to accept no. Do you need me to collect more information? Can we revisit this in six months? Let’s keep thinking about this and try to make it work for both of us. Remember that you are a valuable, experienced resource!

  37. Negotiating with Management:Process Issues Present your case and yourself. Send a brief note or executive summary ahead of time so your manager is prepared. Most important negotiating skill is listening. When negotiating, pay attention to: Other side’s spoken communication. Responsive, passive aggressive, or negative? Other side’s physical communication (body language, eye contact). Your own physical communication. Your own reaction to their offers, suggestions or refusals.

  38. Negotiating Internal Change:Intrapreneurial Challenges Getting acceptance for ideas in a larger bureaucracy is difficult. Smaller organizations may not have resources (money, time, flexibility, expertise) to support change. Moving ideas from conception to reality takes time (and emotional energy). Frustration is common in trying to make change. Instability and constant restructuring in many industries (workforce issues will be around for a while). Adaptation vs. innovation (buy-in and ownership).

  39. The Employer’s Response Understand and respect your employer’s perspective: It has never been done before (habit/practice creates a comfort zone). “If I let you do this, everyone will want to do it.” So…. What are the cost implications? Place your request in a win-win position. Be open to development and other options. Don’t just give up. You are valuable!