Retirees are getting back to work – but at their own pace.

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This was the headline in the Money section of USA Today earlier this week. The article attracted my attention because not only am I in that category, but my work in engagement, retention and career development has always made me a believer in hanging on to great talent and finding ways to keep that talent motivated and committed.

The article talked to the growing number of organizations who are opening their doors to returning retirees, or offering Boomers and Traditionalists (60 year olds to late 70’s) alternative ways to remain longer with their organizations. The article quoted the low unemployment rate of 3.9% as a huge reason for shortages of talent in the labor force. Older workers could fill those gaps if the opportunities presented fit current needs to continue working but perhaps have more of a flexible or reduced schedule.

In some earlier research, my co-author of Love 'Em or Lose 'Em Sharon Jordan -Evans, found the a significant number of losses when senior talent leaves. Check this list and consider what might be lost in your organization.

  • Leadership know-how and strength
  • Ability and willingness to mentor and teach others
  • Unwavering commitment and dedication to the job and the organization
  • Strong customer relations
  • Ability to work with a variety of people
  • Depth of knowledge about the business, technology or organizational culture
  • Ability to marshal resources
  • Wisdom
  • Broad perspective and point of view
  • Innovation
  • Patience and the ability to bring calm to chaos

It’s clear that recognizing, valuing and leveraging the talent of senior employees will give organizations an edge as talent shortages continue to affect all organizations.

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