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Aging Workforce: Challenges & Opportunities

November 1, 2023
February 1, 2024
aging workforce

Getting older is unavoidable. While some dread the aging process, it also means that you’re gaining life experience and insight that you can pass onto others. But how does aging impact the workforce?

While all your employees must be treated equally, it’s important to acknowledge how the aging workforce can face problems as well as opportunities as they continue to put in time and effort at your company. 

The challenges of the aging workforce

An aging workforce usually refers to employees over the age of 40. It’s impossible to ignore the potential challenges of having older employees, especially because they’re usually out of the employee’s control. 

Here are a few aging workforce issues to be aware of:

  • Physical health issues — The most common issue with older employees is their high likelihood of health issues. Not only can age-related health issues, such as arthritis, impact their efficiency, but they are also more likely to take more PTO and sick time than younger employees. They’re also at risk of injuries or falls from gradually weakening muscles.

  • Lack of connection with the team — It’s impossible for a company to run without a team that works well together. It’s important for your team members to bond and connect with one another to enforce a positive work environment and morale. It may be harder for older employees to relate to the interests and beliefs of younger employees.

  • Technology changes — It’s an unfair generalization to say that all older people don’t do well with technology. But it may be harder for older people on your team to grasp new technology as quickly as your other employees. They have probably gotten used to the current methods or have been using the same one for years.

The opportunities for the aging workforce

Now that we’ve acknowledged potential challenges that you may face with an older workforce, it’s time to talk about ways to help alleviate those challenges or turn them around into a positive.

Possible opportunities for older employees include:

  • Improved safety measures — Even though you can’t completely eliminate the chances of your employees having health issues, you can use those chances as a reason to adjust your safety protocol for all employees. Guidelines like regulated breaks to reduce muscle overexertion and updated safety measures to reduce the risk of falls can go a long way.

  • Learning opportunities — When you have an older workforce, especially those who have been in the same industry for many years, they likely have plenty of tips and tricks to pass on. Encourage your younger employees to ask questions and learn from their older co-workers.

  • Improved training — If your older employees are struggling to grasp new technology concepts, that’s a sign that you should adjust your training approaches. It’s important that the information is accessible to everyone, whether that means changing the structure of the training or adding additional resources.

Work- Fit can help you navigate challenges with the aging workforce

An aging workforce may come with some challenges, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t solutions worth exploring. Work-Fit’s services like injury prevention and wellness management can help keep all your employees happy and healthy.

Contact our team today to find out more about all the benefits Work-Fit can bring to your workplace. 


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