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May 21, 2021

What You Need to Know About Retaining Experienced Employees

Employee turnover is costly. In addition to the financial costs, companies also suffer from reduced productivity, lower engagement, and erosion of company culture. Yet, many companies never ask workers about what would make them stay until they’re sitting in an exit interview. The loss of any employee can be damaging, but when your most experienced workers are leaving, the impact can be even more significant. 

If you want to know how to retain those employees who have decades of experience in their fields or even in your organization, you need to keep reading. Here are some of the things you need to do to keep your experienced employees happy.

Don’t Lump All Experienced Workers Together

You may have seasoned workers in your organization who are still in their 40s, along with some who are 65 or older. They all have lots to offer, but their needs and goals aren’t the same. Some are thinking about retiring; others want to work for as long as possible. Some may want to work on a part-time basis. Get to know your experienced team members and come up with personalized plans to assist with retention.

Confront Your Biases About Older People

Many people, including older people themselves, have lots of misconceptions about getting older. In order to create the best possible environment for your mature employees, you need to see them as they are. This means you’ll need to confront popular stereotypes and identify your own biases. You may see older workers as difficult to train or averse to new technologies. However, this isn’t true of all mature employees. 

Focus Heavily on Professional Development

Investing in your employees’ education will make them feel valued, and they’ll be more likely to stick around. You can provide training opportunities within the organization or reimburse workers for tuition they seek elsewhere. Very often, managers focus on younger, inexperienced employees when they offer training. However, experienced workers, including those above the age of 50, also need to upskill. Given how rapidly the world is changing, continuous learning is a requirement, not an option.

Offer Useful Benefits

All employees don’t want the same benefits. To keep 50-plus employees happy, you need to offer them perks that matter to them. This may include:

  • Healthcare benefits
  • Disability benefits
  • Retirement benefits
  • 401(k) plans
  • Financial planning
  • Comprehensive wellness programs
  • Eldercare support if they have aged parents
  • Childcare support if they have grandchildren

Be sure to communicate all available benefits to your employees.

Provide Accommodations to Help Mature Employees Work Safely and Efficiently

Some experienced workers need a little extra support. Be prepared to offer reasonable accommodations in response to disability or illness. Some mature workers have conditions that are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, so you’ll need to make sure you act within the law. You may be required to allow the employee extra breaks or provide them with large-print material or assistive listening devices. Even if your mature employees don’t have disabilities, you should provide the help they need where feasible.

Offer the Option of Phased Retirement

After working for decades, some workers want to slow down, but they don’t want to stop working completely. A phased retirement schedule would allow them to gradually work less and less over a period of months or years. Such a system benefits both the worker and the organization. The former continues to earn a salary, receive benefits and plan for full retirement while the latter benefits from the individual’s knowledge and experience for a little longer. If a mature employee wants to work less but there’s no flexible retirement option, you could lose them. If they do continue working full-time, their productivity and motivation may be low.

Show that You Value Their Professional Experience and Life Experience 

There’s a lot that you can learn from seasoned workers. They’ve handled personal challenges, global crises, workplace conflicts, and several other issues. They may not always be up-to-date on pop culture, but they have a lot to offer younger workers. To leverage the experiences of older employees, you should set up mentorship opportunities and build multigenerational workgroups wherever possible. This will show your mature workers that you value their knowledge and expertise.

Reach Out to WiseForce Advisors for Help in Shaping Your Policies

Employee retention can be a challenge. Inevitably, some of your employees will leave, but you need to do everything you can to retain your best and most experienced workers. If you need help in assessing your current practices and policies and putting plans in place to boost retention, our human resources professionals can help. Email us today at info@wiseforceadvisors.com to schedule a consultation.