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Work Life and Family Life Balance

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Work Life and Family Life Balance

  1. 1. Work-Life & Home-Life A Constant Balancing Act
  2. 2. Work and Retirement A Discussion <ul><li>Why do we work? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we retire? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Key Points Balancing Work-Life and Home-Life <ul><li>It’s time to rethink the relationship between work and retirement </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible Work Options: There is more than one way to work toward full retirement </li></ul><ul><li>The way work is arranged at your organization will affect how your workforce ages </li></ul><ul><li>There are society-level factors that will impact how your workforce ages </li></ul>
  4. 4. Traditional Work Arrangement <ul><li>40 hours per week </li></ul><ul><li>Standard schedule </li></ul><ul><li>In the same location </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some traveling </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Employer-based health insurance </li></ul><ul><li>Costs of living are paid for with your income </li></ul>
  5. 5. Traditional Retirement <ul><li>~ 62-65 years of age </li></ul><ul><li>You wake up one day without a job </li></ul><ul><li>Medicare covers your health care </li></ul><ul><li>Social Security and retirement savings cover your costs of living </li></ul>
  6. 6. Approaching Retirement A Variety of Preferences Source: Harris Interactive & Dychtwald, The Merrill Lynch New Retirement Survey, 2005
  7. 7. Approaching Retirement Should I Stay or Should I Go? May prefer to continue with current employer Would prefer to leave current employer
  8. 8. Phased Retirement Flexibility in Action Traditional Retirement Phased Retirement Full Time Work Full Retirement Transition Phase Full Time Work Full Retirement @ ~ 65 years
  9. 9. Phased Retirement What Happens During the Transition? <ul><li>Worker reduces the amount of time at work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gradual reduction in hours (e.g. 40, 30, 20, 10 hrs/week) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part-time work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seasonal work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sabbaticals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contract-based work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Job-sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can happen with the long-time employer or an entirely new employer </li></ul><ul><li>Can be a formal program </li></ul>
  10. 10. Phased Retirement Opportunities and Challenges <ul><li>Health Benefits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Health care costs have increased dramatically over the past several decades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health care costs will likely present a challenge for organizations that employ older workers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wrapping health insurance around Medicare might reduce employers’ health care costs for “phasers” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legally complex </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Phased Retirement Opportunities and Challenges <ul><li>Pension and Retirement Funds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced time at work would lead to reduced income for older workers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drawing savings during transition phase may supplement a worker’s reduced income </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal restrictions vary by types of savings plans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Defined benefit </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Defined contribution </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Flexible Work Options A Step Back <ul><li>Part-time work </li></ul><ul><li>Seasonal work </li></ul><ul><li>Job sharing </li></ul>Flexible Work Options Phased Retirement
  13. 13. Flexible Work Options Shared Alone Responsibilities Home (telecommute) Workplace Location Part-Time 40 hrs/week Work Load 4 x 10 hr shifts 9-to-5 Schedule Flexible Option Examples Tradition
  14. 14. Variation Differences Between Industries <ul><li>Some industries are inherently more “flexible” than others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer programming vs. factory work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industries that hire independent contractors on a contingent basis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Construction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hair salons </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge-based occupations </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Work Arrangements What To Do <ul><li>Consider what makes sense for your workplace and your workforce… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating new flexible options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing a formal phased retirement plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal advice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting flexible options that already exist </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Break
  17. 17. Society-Level Factors A Bird’s Eye View <ul><li>What happens if you want to develop a phased retirement program and can’t? </li></ul><ul><li>What happens if there aren’t enough primary care providers? </li></ul><ul><li>There are social factors that determine how your workforce will age </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Legal Framework Laws Relevant to the Aging Workforce <ul><li>Tax & Benefits Laws </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ERISA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IRS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Discrimination Laws </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ADEA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ADA </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Health and Safety Laws </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OSHA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workers Compensation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Family Medical Leave Act </li></ul><ul><li>Social Security </li></ul>
  19. 19. Community Resources <ul><li>Public transportation </li></ul><ul><li>Schools and colleges </li></ul><ul><li>Elder care facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Health care providers </li></ul><ul><li>Child care </li></ul>
  20. 20. Social and Community Resources What To Do <ul><li>Identify what your organization’s priorities are </li></ul><ul><li>When the social framework is a barrier (e.g. laws are too narrow) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let your legislators know where you stand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lobby for change </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When the social framework is an asset (e.g. a child-care facility close to your workplace) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase awareness among your employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide incentives to utilize beneficial programs </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Work & Life Balance A Review of the Key Points <ul><li>It’s time to rethink the relationship between work and retirement </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible Work Options (e.g. phased retirement) give employees more than one way to work toward full retirement </li></ul><ul><li>You can organize work to influence how well your workforce ages </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of the society-level factors that will impact how your workforce ages </li></ul>
  22. 22. Time for a Break…
  23. 23. Work/Life Balance What To Do 1 <ul><li>Identify your priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Create a plan to address your priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Implement your plan and build on it </li></ul>1 Planning approach adapted from “The Breakthrough Strategy,” developed by Robert Schaeffer
  24. 24. <ul><li>Identify a Work/Life Balance Priority What Will Make a Difference? </li></ul><ul><li>What Is Your Priority? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s important for the future of your organization? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What will people in your organization really care about? </li></ul></ul>Job Sharing Part Time Work Phased Retirement Seasonal Work Community Resources
  25. 25. <ul><li>Create a Plan How Do You Achieve Your Objectives? </li></ul><ul><li>How will you measure “success”? ________ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pick a good way to measure your top priority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How much will you change? ________ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hint: Start small to generate momentum </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do you have a baseline? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is accountable? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is the champion? _______________ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it a team effort? If so, who’s on the team? </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Create a Plan How Do You Achieve Your Objectives? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the timeline? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When will it all be done? ____/ ____/ ______ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How often will you need to meet for progress updates? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What, exactly, do you need to do to make it happen? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 1:__________________________________________ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 2: _________________________________________ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 3: _________________________________________ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 4: _________________________________________ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Create a Plan How Do You Achieve Your Objectives? </li></ul><ul><li>What might get in the way? </li></ul><ul><li>How will you respond? </li></ul>Response Challenge
  28. 28. The Age Friendly Workplace                Challenges & Responses When It Will Finish Who Will Ensure It Does How It Will Happen Goal Type of Goal Work/Life Balance - In the Workplace - In the Community Health Promotion The Work Environment

Notas do Editor

  • Okay, so we all work to earn money. And money can support some pretty important things, like food and shelter and our kids’ education. But it’s probably not the only reason we work. Even on the dull days, work can give us a sense of purpose that is hard to replace once we enter full retirement. And retirement is great. We can travel and we can golf and we can spend more time with the kids we worked so hard to put through college. But is there anything that says that retirement is the only way that we can do those things more often? In other words, is there a way to travel and golf and have some more family time without leaving your job? If not, what’s stopping you?
  • It’s time to rethink our basic assumptions about how work gets done and how retirement will work in the future. The most important thing to keep in mind is flexibility. Flexibility in your organization’s policies can benefit your organization as well as the changing lives of your employees. We are suggesting flexibility as a rule of thumb here, but we will give examples of what we mean to illustrate what this looks like in practice. All we are saying here, though, is that it’s worth developing an approach to work and retirement that is adaptable to the changing lives of your employees. After all, the way that work is arranged affects how your workforce ages We will also cover some of society-level factors that you should be thinking about as you prepare for the aging workforce.
  • So, we’re going to be talking next about work arrangements. It is how it sounds. Work arrangements are simply… how work is arranged at your organization. You all know what this looks like even if you haven’t heard the term before. But we have to call it something. So. What does the stereotypical job look like? How many hours a week? Are those hours filled at random, or is there some sort of a pattern to fill the forty hours? Where is the job completed? [Pause] Right. Usually, in the workplace. What are two typical benefits of the stereotypical job? [Pause] Health insurance…. And …. Income. Right. So, this is what work looks like for most of us. Forty hours a week on a pretty standardized schedule. Typically happening in our same office or factory or some other workplace. In exchange for our time and energy, we are provided health insurance and an income to pay for our living expenses.
  • Okay. Now, we’re going to look at the stereotypical retirement scenario. What does that look like? What are some of the key features of the traditional retirement scenario? [Let them answer] Right. At about 65 years of age, full time employment stops. You wake up without a job to go to and you never go to work again. Medicare picks up the health care bill. You might have some retiree benefits from your employer, but Uncle Sam is the primary payer. You don’t have any more income from the job you just stopped working, so your other costs are paid for out of social security and the retirement savings you have accumulated over time. The full-time job and full retirement will always be there. For the next hour or so, though, I’d like you to think a little more creatively about how work gets done and how retirement may change as our workforce ages. Even though these are how things have been done for a long time doesn’t mean that this is how things will always be done.
  • One indicator that things might change are the preferences baby boomers have for the next stage of their lives. This graph comes from a survey conducted by AARP in which 2348 people between 40 and 58 indicated what they want their work to be like when they are in their 60s, 70s and beyond. Only 21% of workers would prefer to stop work completely and never work again. Even fewer workers, though, want to keep working full time. Taken together, though, only about a quarter of these survey respondents fall into one of the two stereotypical work and retirement scenarios we just talked about. The other three quarters of the survey respondents would prefer a different work arrangement than the full-time work week. But almost all of these respondents would prefer to work. Aside from those respondents interested in starting their own business and those who want to never work again, most of these respondents would, in theory, be able to stay with their current employer. So, for instance, if the employees who work for your organization can find a way to cycle in and out, work part time or full time or do something else within your organization, they may be more likely to stay with you as they age.
  • If keeping your experienced older workers is of interest to you, you might want to be considering whether it is even possible for a worker to cycle in and out of work or to transition into part time work. There might be policies in place that restrict workers from taking advantages of these options. Then again, there might not be. There’s no way of knowing without becoming familiar with the degree to which your human resource policies are adapted for flexibility. We realize, though, that simply recommending you develop flexibility into your policies may not be specific enough. So, we’ll give you an example of what we mean.
  • Phased retirement, or gradual retirement, is an approach that is becoming more and more likely for aging workers who want to reduce their hours before entering full retirement. [Click] As opposed to the traditional arrangement where full time work ends and full time retirement begins, [Click] phased retirement is an retirement plan in which full time work [Click] eventually gives way to full retirement [Click], but only after a transition phase [Click] in which the worker reduces his or her work load and increases the amount of time for family and leisure.
  • What, exactly, happens during the transition phase varies according to the type of phased retirement program. Here are some ways that a worker might reduce the amount of work he or she does. The reduction may occur gradually over time. For instance, going from forty hours a week to thirty to twenty to ten hours a week over a matter of months or years. A more consistent part-time work schedule might be the transition phase. Depending on your organization, a seasonal schedule might make sense. Workers who are seeking to phase into retirement might work only during the busy season. Contract-based work might be an option. Job sharing could be another way for an older worker to reduce the amount of work he or she has to do. Also, job sharing programs might be a good way to pair an experienced older worker with an inexperienced younger worker to allow for some mentoring and teaching opportunities. When people talk about phased retirement, it usually means phasing out with their long-time employer. But phased retirement can also mean part-time work with an entirely new employer or even in a new type of job. Some baby boomers will enter a new field of work entirely for their transition into retirement. You might hear the term “bridge jobs” in this context - jobs that bridge the gap between full time employment and full retirement. Sometimes, phased retirement happens informally. But formal programs may be worth considering, because they may offer benefits to your organization. For instance, it’s very likely that there will be older workers who quit jobs they’ve held for a long time simply because their workplace doesn’t allow them to reduce the hours they work. Developing a flexible approach to retirement may be the difference between retaining a lot of institutional knowledge and losing expertise to an organization that will hire older workers part time. There are other potential benefits, as well.
  • We mentioned health care costs before. Health care costs rise as we age and the cost of covering older workers may present a serious challenge for organizations (which will be most organizations). Health care costs may even provide a disincentive for retaining or hiring otherwise experienced talent. Phased retirement may be a way for employers to reduce the amount of money they spend on health care costs. For instance, for workers who qualify for Medicare, it might be possible to supplement health care coverage with Medicare. Because phased retirement is not currently addressed by any of the laws that govern employee health benefits and retirement plans, this can get complex legally and there is some untested territory. While laws and public policies may change, as it stands, Medicare can only be the secondary payer for people who are employed by a company.
  • Another area where phased retirement can present both opportunities for an aging workforce, as well as some challenges, is in the area of pension plans. Reduced time at work would lead to reduced payroll costs for employers, meanwhile reducing the monthly income of an older worker. To supplement a reduced income, though, a worker may want to draw some of his or her retirement savings. This would allow the employer to save money and the employee to maintain their standard of living as they phase into retirement. But, like with the health care benefits, this may get complicated legally. The rules differ depending on the type of pension plans offered through your organization. So if you want to develop a formal phased retirement program, you may want to consult a lawyer to make sure you’re safe.
  • Okay. So, looking into a formal phased retirement program may be something you decide to do as part of your action plan. There are some legal questions that we can’t answer about the specifics of a program tailored to your organization, but a new more flexible approach to retirement may be what your organization needs to prepare for the aging workforce. We’re going to take a quick step back. A minute ago, we had listed a few ways an older worker might phase into retirement. Here are some of them. Part-time work. Seasonal work. And job sharing. While these may be elements of a phased retirement plan, can you see these working for employees that aren’t transitioning into retirement? Can you think of any other types of employees (in addition to employees nearing retirement) who might be interested in part-time work? [Give time for them to answer] How about a new mother? Or a new father? Seasonal work might give younger workers interested in traveling the chunk of time that they need to pursue their interests. And like we said before, job sharing might be a way to pair older and younger workers. So, what we’re getting at here is broader than retirement. Phased retirement [Click] is just one example of a flexible approach to arranging work. Some people who work in human resources refer to this approach as offering flexible work options [Click]. Since these are flexible work options , they do not get rid of the stereotypical work arrangement we discussed before. They simply offer alternatives for all workers. So that if a baby comes along or a family member gets really sick, the job can adapt to a new schedule - allowing work to get done and the worker to find the right balance between work life and home life.
  • It’s more of an approach to workforce planning than it is a list of things to do. Here are a few more examples of what we mean. But the idea is to reconsider how work schedules, work loads, work locations, job responsibilities and other essential factors of the organization of work might be made more flexible.
  • We recognize that the flexibility of the work arrangement varies substantially by industry. Some industries just seem to be more flexible than others. Think, for example, about computer programmers who can work from coffee shops or libraries - anywhere they can take a laptop. This is a very different type of work arrangement than a traditional factory job. Technology certainly plays a role in allowing the computer programmer to work like this, but it wouldn’t be possible without a flexible work policy. There are industries that commonly hire independent contractors on a contingent basis, which could be considered a sort of flexible arrangement - though not really in the way we mean. Typically, this means that a person is paid by a company for their labor, but that worker does not receive any other employment or health care benefits. Construction workers and hair stylists or even financial planners, engineers and other types of knowledge-based workers might have work arranged in this “contingent” way. We might see more of this as older workers are hired back as independent contractors for their previous employer. This may be what you decide to do. We want to be clear, though, that we are not advocating this sort of independent contract work as a solution for the aging workforce. We just realize that it may be one way organizations decide to go. The reason why it might not make sense for your organization to rely on hiring older employees on a contingent basis has to do with health care benefits. Many of these contingent relationships preclude health care coverage. After all, if you’re independent, you’re your own employer and the responsibility of health insurance falls on you. Since health insurance coverage is one of the major reasons why older workers will keep working, you might not be able to find many older workers who’d be willing to enter into this sort of an agreement with you. If contingent work was the only flexible work option you offered, or it was central to a phased retirement program, you might see your older workers seeking an employer who will offer some health care coverage during the transition phase. Of course, not all industries are going to be inherently flexible. Manufacturing, for instance, will see high proportions of older workers. We don’t tend to think of manufacturing as being very flexible, typically. It should be worth considering how these traditionally inflexible work arrangements can become more flexible for the aging workforce. Some solutions, like telecommuting, can be impossible logistically. Sometimes, though, it’s just a change in attitude that will make the difference.
  • When deciding how to design age friendly policies, you are really the only ones who can decide this. We can offer some suggestions about what might work - but you know much better than us, what types of flexible arrangments might work for your organization. Here are some different things to think about as you consider any changes: First of all, as we said before, these issues of flexible work and phased retirement can get a little complicated legally. So, before you make anything final, you’ll want to consult a lawyer or specialist in these issues. You might decide to create new flexible options within your organization. Even if you have some flexibility, there might still be more that you can do. You might even develop a formal phased retirement plan to meet the more immediate needs of the workforce. Or, if you have flexible arrangements already, you might consider developing an action plan to encourage or promote their use. It might be more efficient to recruit people into existing programs than to create entirely new options within your organization.
  • So far, we’ve been spending our time on factors that are under your control - or if not you by yourself, at least your organization can control them. What’ve we been talking about again? Remind me. [Pause] Right. We’ve been talking about changes you can make to the physical work environment to make work safer and more productive for workers of all ages. We’ve talked about how to promote workers’ health throughout their lives to prevent, detect and manage chronic disease. And we’ve gone over some ways to make work arrangements more flexible for people’s changing relationships to work. Now, we’re going to consider some factors at the social level that might have an impact on how your workforce will age. Now, due to the nature of what we’re talking about next, there will be a little bit less about what to do than there is in the other sections of the workshop. That’s just because you have less control and in some ways, there is less that you can do. But it doesn’t mean that you don’t have any control - so there will be some opportunity to plan ahead. It’s also important that you’re generally aware of some things even if you can’t control them. Okay. So what happens if you get really excited about developing a phased retirement program for your organization and you go back to review your policies and you realize that Federal benefits laws prevent you from doing what you originally set out to do? Or, what happens if you develop an approach to employee health that focuses on prevention and primary care services like cancer screening, but there aren’t any available primary care providers in your area? Or there are some, but they’re too busy to take on any more of your employees? We don’t have answers to these questions. All we are saying is that these or similar questions might come up as you prepare for the aging workforce. They result from factors at the society level - some of which are out of your control and some of which you can’t control, but that you can influence slightly one way or the other.
  • Like we said before, we are not lawyers. But you should be aware, generally, that there are laws that pertain to a few important aspects of the aging workforce. For instance, Employee Retirement Income Security Act dictates how your organization can structure its retirement and benefits programs. Depending on how your organization’s benefits work, ERISA may hold the key to preparing for the aging workforce. On the other hand, it may limit the approaches you can take as well. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act was developed to prevent age discrimination on the job and to increase the employment of older workers. As the workforce ages, the ADEA might be used to promote older workers staying on the job. Whether this will happen or how this will happen is still to be determined. It is safe to say, though, that as the workforce gets older, there will be more age discrimination claims under the ADEA. In fact, age discrimination claims are already on the rise. Since the law was developed when our demographics looked very different than they currently do, we may see changes to the way the ADEA is written or the way that it is enforced. The Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA was developed to prevent discrimination against disabilities of all types - which include those related to age. There is some overlap between the ADA and the ADEA since both are intended to prevent different types of age-related discrimination. Depending on the size of your organization, you may or may not be covered by the Family Medical Leave Act. If you are, this is relevant because of the family care giving issue. Many baby boomers will be caring for elderly parents, many will be caring for sick spouses and some will even be looking after grandchildren. And Social Security will become discussed more and more. A rising old-age dependency ratio may force lawmakers to reconsider how Social Security works. So, what to do about it? Of course, you’ll want to make sure you’re in compliance with the employment laws relevant to the aging workforce. At least some of them are likely to change as our workforce ages, so you’ll want to keep up to date as the changes occur. Since State and National laws are not under the direct control of your organization, though, it may not seem like there is much else to do. Keep in mind that if your organization does find that a certain policy is of concern to the success of your organization, you can always contact your lawmakers. For instance, if you want to develop a phased retirement program, but a certain part of ERISA prevents you from being able to do so, your government representatives should know. Civic engagement may be one way your organization can prepare for the aging workforce.
  • It’s also worth keeping in mind that there are resources in your communities that may help your workforce age. For instance, public transportation may be a solution for you. Older workers may find several incentives for using public transportation to commute to work. Safety, reduced gasoline costs and senior discounts on fares might help your older workers age. Likewise, younger workers might be able to save on transportation costs throughout their working lives by using public transit to get to work. If public transportation isn’t available, though, you may want to consider how to make it easier or cheaper for your employees to get to work. Van pools are one option. Lobbying your local government officials for public transportation service might be another solution. Universities and community colleges may offer important training opportunities for workers throughout their lives, increasing their knowledge and versatility. Elder care facilities, health care providers and child care are all community resources that can help your workforce find the right balance between home-life and work-life. Baby boomers are in the sandwich generation right now, caring for elderly parents and college-age kids, sometimes grand kids. Your organization might consider offering some of these services on-site, or if that isn’t desirable, collecting information on existing providers in your area to connect with your workforce. There are a lot of opportunities to connect your workforce to existing resources. Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity and planning.
  • So. While it may not be easy to change the policies at your organization, developing a phased retirement program would be easier than changing federal employment laws. But just because some of these social and community factors that will influence how your workforce ages may not be under your direct control, there is still plenty that you can do. The first step, of course, is to identify what your priorities are. Maybe, you’ve done a survey of your employees and they’d really like a formal phased retirement program. Maybe, you want to do some training on age discrimination in the workplace to make sure that your older employees are hired in accordance with the ADEA. As you identify your priorities, though, you may encounter two different scenarios. The first scenario is that the social framework is a barrier to you preparing for the aging workforce. There might be laws that prevent you from developing the flexible work options you want to develop. There might be a lack of primary care providers available to provide your workers with cost-effective clinical preventive services. When this is the case, the first step is to let your government officials know. After all, it’s their job to respond to their voters needs. This might even include advocating for a specific policy or program. For instance, you might urge your lawmaker to develop a change to the laws that were getting in the way of your flexible work options. Or your lawmaker may be able to bring more primary care providers to your area. The second scenario is one in which the social framework is an asset to you. This includes resources, policies and programs that will help your workforce age. So, for instance, if there aren’t any laws preventing you from developing your flexible work options, this should be seen as an asset. Child-care facilities in the area, elder-care services, health clinics and education or training opportunities are all ways that you can leverage existing resources to help your workforce find the right balance between their lives at work and their lives at home.
  • So, we’ve covered a lot here. Let’s review the key points. The aging workforce gives your organization good reason to rethink the way you approach the organization of work and it’s relationship to retirement. Flexibility is key here. Flexible work options for your employees, like phased retirement, are a sensible way of getting the work done while giving workers the ability to decide how that happens. Some flexible work options will be more relevant to older workers. But, there are ways to build flexibility into your workplace policies and programs. Because, after all, The way that you organize work will influence how your workforce ages. It’s also important to be aware of some of the factors at the society-level that may influence how your workforce ages. Employment laws and community resources might not be sufficient to meet your organization’s needs. In some cases, though, they may be able to help you prepare for the aging workforce.
  • Okay. How about a break? [Click]
  • Now we are going to create a plan to make your workplace more age friendly. We’ll identify a priority for your organization, and we’ll create a plan to address it. So, by the time you leave here, you’ll be able to go back to your daily activities and implement the plan into your organization.
  • First of all, you need to identify a priority. You’re going to choose from one of these areas to focus on. Do you want to develop a plan focusing on one of these areas? Maybe another important health-specific priority? As you decide, think about what’s important for the future of your organization as well as what the people in your organization will really care about. [You might need to take a vote]
  • Okay. So, you’ve identified what you want to focus on. [Whatever they chose, reinforce their choice with the benefit of addressing that area. For instance, if they decide to focus on the physical demands of work, say something like: “Okay. You want to reduce the prevalence of smoking in your workplace. This might prevent unnecessary disease, absenteeism and presenteeism in the long run. Great choice.”] The first question is how will you measure whether or not you have an affect. [Click] Since you chose to focus on [whatever they chose], you might be able to see an effect in workers’ [behaviors, smoking rates, vaccination rates, etc.]. How are you going to measure that effect? [If they have a difficult time thinking about measures, here are some possibilities: Smoking prevalence, weight loss, participation rates in a given program, hours of exercise per week, number of primary care visits] [Click] How much do you expect to change? [Click] Just as a hint, you’ll probably want to start with a conservative estimate. That will enable you to build momentum without taking too big of a risk. [Click] Do you have a baseline for it? If not, how will you get one? [Click] Okay. Who is going to get it done? Who’s the leader on this issue? [Click] Is it a team effort? Will there be any help? If so, who is on the team? [Click]
  • [Click] What’s the timeline look like? [Click] When will it be done? [Click] Will you need to meet at all between now and then? Okay. Now for the fun part: [Click] How are you going to [raise/lower] your [measure] by [their level of success]? There might be big steps and little steps. There might be substeps. The point is, though, what will it take to achieve your goal? [Click]
  • What do you see standing in your way? And how will you respond? [Click]
  • Okay. Now you’ve filled out the first two of these three rows. You’ve taken your first two steps to designing an age friendly workplace.