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Strategies to Engage the Mature Workforce An organization that offers growth culture, inspiring leadership and a satisfied job role attracts all age group employees towards the organization

By Navneet Singh

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People management is both an art and a science. Many people managers fret over managing an experienced workforce and do not get desired results from them. The reason is managers do not follow simple rules to engage this learned group of professionals. According to an article published in Deloitte Insights, "Companies can employ people into their 60s, 70s and beyond as the pool of traditional "working-age" (20- to 54-year-old) adults shrinks. For their part, many individuals find the need—financially and/or emotionally—to stay in the workforce past "traditional" retirement age."

Start: The age group for a normal workforce is 20-54. Therefore, a professional, beyond 54 years of age, belongs to the mature workgroup category. Generally, such a workforce is not the most sought-after for employers because of lack of "adaptability mindset' besides slow learning attitude that work as the top most constraint. On the contrary, the mature age-group people carry tremendous potential in delivering quality work. These days, a change has been observed in the mindset of both companies and mature workforce. Today, employers understand the need of recruiting this veteran group of skilled workforce. Simultaneously, they make an attempt to keep them motivated and challenge to bring out the best from them.

An organization that offers growth culture, inspiring leadership and a satisfied job role generally attracts all age group employees towards the organization. For mature workforce too, these aspects are crucial to keep them driving and get services from them. Yet, additionally, the following simple rules can play a significant role:

A Caring Leader

Irrespective of age, a leader inspires to work better every time. These kinds of leaders often identify hidden talents among the workforce and leverage them to grow. Also, there is another kind of leader who has a rigid mindset in nurturing talents. They want the employees to be of certain type rather than letting them to be of their authentic selves. The latter kind of leaders often do not nurture aged- professionals well and create tensions. Therefore, to deal with a mature group of employees, the first caution is to let them be themselves. In this way, they will feel connected and engaged with the goals of the organization. Aged employees value those managers who let them use their most accepted skills and quality.

Identify the Most Positive Capabilities

Leaders should identify the most positive capability of a mature professional. Some may be very good in client servicing, other may be an expert in delivering the company's financial result in the most succinct manner. Identify them and use them to achieve growth, both for the individual and the organization. Build a plan to identify the areas where this group of professionals contribute the most and utilize their most constructive capabilities to get the outcomes you want.

Stop Micromanaging

Micromanagement is a curse when it comes to engaging a mature workforce. It is condemned by every group of employees in an organization but veteran working professionals hate it the most and often they leave the company for this very reason. Rather, you should put them in situations which build their confidence and strengthen their self-trust and they keep contributing to the company's growth.

Show Them Your Confidence

Leaders who trust their veteran workforce do wonders and often over-achieve targets. Showing confidence and trust in their decision is the greatest way to get the maximum output from them. With their vast knowledge and years of experience, they would not like to be put in areas where they are questioned leading to dejection. Aged employees want to feel getting trusted and valued for the independent decisions they can make and the impact can they create.

Consistent Approach

This is another critical area for keeping your mature workforce engaged. Often leaders show an inconsistent behaviour and give an inconsistent treatment to such workforce. Remember, with years of accumulated wealth of knowledge and sharpened traits, they just need your solidarity to deliver best results. Topsy-turvy and cluttered goal setting, with inconsistent communication and behaviour, makes the employees off-track. Also unacceptable mind games, conflicting approach and style should be avoided.

Navneet Singh

Founder and CEO, AVSAR HR services

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