Aging Workforce Needs a Guidebook?

Aging workforce! Well it must be pretty serious now. So much so, that we need another guidebook to help manage older workers and Boomers in the workplace.

This February in the UK, the Department for Work & Pensions released a guidebook titled Employing Older Workers: An Employer’s Guide to Today’s Multi-generational Workforce. The intent of this document is noble enough, but I was left wondering. For as much as this topic has been covered for over a dozen years now, why do we still need another guidebook?

How will this UK guidebook help move people who run companies, big or small, to make better profitable decisions about hiring, developing and retaining great people? This conversation about older workers, multi-generational workplace, engaging employees, isn’t news any more. My bookshelf has so many titles on this subject going back to Y2K, and still the value of the insights seems to be lost on company leaders who may have even taken the time to read them.

Do enlightened companies really need a guidebook? Aren’t they already naturally modeling the fast-tracking reality of modern demographics? And otherwise if not, and a company does get a guidebook, does it mean that behaviours will change? It’s not as if we didn’t see this workforce rain storm coming at us at high speed.

Add whatever global financial crisis comes along next, and we will again likely splash in puddles of lay offs. Guidebooks will become shelf ornaments and whatever age you are; you might still get wet.


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