Older Workers Make Good Business Sense

smiling man with groceries

by Cathy Nestoriak, Director of Senior Employment for JCA

Contrary to what you might see portrayed on social media, older workers may hold the key to productivity in the workforce. While negative stereotypes abound, I am here to tell you that older workers make good business sense.

Just look at the facts!

Older workers save money and help businesses thrive.

Workers aged over 55 are five times less likely to change jobs compared with workers aged 20-24. By staying longer, older workers help the bottom line with increased retention, lower rates of absenteeism, decreased costs of recruitment, and greater investment returns on training.

Older workers are problem solvers. Their vast experience, both in life and at work, makes them adept at coming up with solutions.

As society ages, older workers become a strategic business advantage by having employees who reflect the age diversity of the consumer population. Having experience in the work world also allows older workers to be less reactive. They have often been through challenges before and know that it is just part of the business cycle.

Older workers are living longer and are healthier.  Older workers are less likely to take sick leave and experience work-related injuries.  As reported by AARP, the percentage of Americans who say they’re “very happy” is highest among those 65-plus, and some studies suggest they are the happiest age group at work.

Companies invest a lot in training and development for all their workers to stay competitive. Since older workers tend to be more loyal, that means training stays in-house. Older workers want training and, when trained, stay in the workforce longer.  Recognizing the benefits of technology in the office, older workers aged 55-64 are the fastest growing users of information technology.

Retaining older workers can help prevent the brain drain while maintaining corporate memory and saving employers the cost of “re-inventing the wheel.”  It also provides for cross-generational sharing and mentoring to help prepare the next generation of workers.

Experience is a better indicator of productivity than age.  Verbal skills, communication, and intelligence remain unchanged as a person ages.  Skills can be taught, experience is earned.   

The JCA’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) provides on-the-job training for people with low income who are age 55 and older and live in Montgomery County or Frederick County, Maryland. Trainees receive minimum wage while working at nonprofits and government agencies to build their skills and resumes and deliver valuable community service.

SCSEP is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor grant and in cooperation with The Center for Workforce Inclusion. The SCSEP Program is an equal opportunity program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

To apply to SCSEP: download and fill out the SCSEP Preliminary Application.

Contact SCSEP for more information.