Topic: In view of Singapore’s aging population, what can HR Dept do to help their companies function effectively when most of their employees will be 50 years old and above.
Singapore’s workforce is aging rapidly and based on projection by the US Census Bureau, 57.4% of the Singapore population will be aged 50 and above by 2050. Recognizing the fact that the aging population and workforce may pose a number of challenges is therefore critical and urgent. HR Dept needs to implement several measures to be well prepared for their companies to remain competitive and productive.
New strategies must be based on greater understanding of the match between the workplace and the ...view middle of the document...
Age will usually reduce the elasticity in almost all tissues of the body therefore decreasing the range of body movements. Some of these aging processes may make the older workers more vulnerable to occupational injuries but the degree of their vulnerability will a lot depend on their workstations. Employers should look into areas like the task design, workstation design, environmental design, tool and equipment design and manual material handling design so as to reduce work injuries and to prevent the decline in production performances. “the workplace can be designed and redesigned so that older workers have the ability and desire to adapt.” (Yeatts et al. 2000, 26:6)
• Attracting and retaining older workers through alternative working arrangements
Instead of losing talents through retirement, employers can keep these productive workers by considering nontraditional methods of work arrangements. Employees should also be financially compensated accordingly to their contribution rather than discriminated for their age. At different life-cycle stages these aging workers may have different requirements in terms of time commitment. They may want to do some vacationing during their golden years or spend more quality time with their family. By offering part-time or project basis contracts will give them better options in the way they work. This will allow them to stay on in the organization and are encouraged to stay committed, engaged and motivated. Certain function departments can even adopt working from home arrangement for older employees who need to travel far to work. It is also another wise alternative which can reduce the physical strain. “Flexible employees may be more productive, suffer less end-of-day fatigue, and show lower absenteeism rates.” (William et al. 2001, p23)
• Preserving critical knowledge
The departure of aging workers often signifies a loss of a lifetime’s worth of skills, experience and knowledge. It is therefore very important for HR Dept to be proactive to identify an employee who is about to retire to be retained long enough to transfer their knowledge and skills to the younger generation through direct mentorship, job-shadowing or job-sharing. Aging workers are likely to play a significant role as trainers in the future as they will form a larger percentage of the future workforce. “Their skills can be a continuing source of competitive advantage to many firms.” (Robson et al. 2001, p39) Another method to retain valuable experiences is to record the process of employees involving in key projects, compiling them into easy access learning kits. This can help employers to reduce huge costs by not having to conduct research for what had already been answered and avoiding futile methods that had already been tried by retired workers.
• Coexistence of multigenerational workforce
Negative differences in point of views or perceptions of different age groups can create obstacles and...