How do you engage older employees in the workforce? Ed Redfern, the senior specialist of education and outreach at AARP, moderated a Monday afternoon session that answered that question.
Two leaders from organizations that won the 2011 AARP Best Employers for Workers over 50 were on hand to contribute to the session as well: Deb Shigley, an HR director of research at Cornell University; and Phil Lenowitz, deputy director of the human capital group at the National Institute of Health.
The discussion was largely a Q&A conducted by Redfern, and the two panelists shared their award-winning strategies.
Both stated that coming up with their strategies around engaging this population took time. Lenowitz said considering that the NIH has a culture that thrives on “the long-term,” it was a no-brainer to find ways of keeping their older workers as scientists and administrative leaders. “We find that managers understand that experience counts,” he said.
One facet of the discussion was that organizations can capitalize on the synergies that the various generations in the workforce can create. Lenowitz said that the NIH’s older, more experienced managers bring in younger people and train them. And every junior scientist at the NIH has a senior scientist.
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