By Hannah Wallace October 31, 2008

Bob Bartz, president,

Manatee Chamber of Commerce 

We don’t look at their age as a deciding factor; we look at their qualifications and how they perform their job. We offer one employee flexible hours, but the majority of the workers over 65 are treated the same as the younger ones, benefits and all. 

Lisa Krouse, VP, human resources and support services,

FCCI Insurance

Eleven percent of FCCI’s 700 employees are over the age of 60 and 31 percent are between the ages of 50-60. In order for FCCI to attract and retain mature workers, we must appeal to their values: long-term career development, multiple experiences within the organization, a sense of purpose and meaning, work/life balance, technical and computer training and honest communication in a social environment, to name a few. FCCI offers flexible work arrangements and ongoing computer training on-site through MCC to help our mature workers adapt to changing technological needs. Part-time work is available for some positions as is contract or project-based work. Amenities that make balancing work/life easy are enjoyed by our mature workers, such as take-home dinners through our on-site cafe, a fitness center, which offers classes that are geared to a mature audience, health and wellness initiatives such as disease management—and let’s not forget the golf league!     

Dawn Crable, vice president of human resources,

TideWell Hospice and Palliative Care

TideWell’s median age range floats between 47-49 years old, but we do attract many colleagues who have “retired” and are over the age of 65. We recognize the competition to acquire experienced and highly skilled employees. We have tried to be more proactive by offering more flexibility in schedules. We have accommodated employees who want to work “nontraditional” hours or part-time hours. We offer reduced schedules, job sharing with other nurses if they do not want to work a full-time schedule, and we offer more attractive hours, such as four 10-hour shifts a week, as well as working one to two days a month for on-call PRN nurses. The nursing role has changed over the years. We find that older and more seasoned colleagues who have stepped away from the nursing profession join TideWell because it gives them the opportunity to get back to th e reason that drew them to be caregivers in the first place.

Joyce Boyle, director of human resources,

Hoveround Corporation

Hoveround’s business is all about working with our senior population and seeing to their most fundamental need—independence. We find there is often nothing better then a senior dealing with a senior in need. They understand the challenges and issues affecting people of age. Many people over 65 feel they still have a lot to contribute to the workforce and want to bring those old work values to today’s workplace. They offer attributes such as loyalty, motivation, high standards and a tremendous work ethic. We believe there are a lot of reasons to hire older workers: their flexibility and willingness to work different schedules, the invaluable experience they bring to the workplace and their ability to serve as mentors. There are challenges in hiring and managing a mature workforce. We must provide opportunities for knowledge transfer, identify the training needs of mature workers, especially in the area of technology, and examine policies and practices to ascertain whether they penalize or exclude mature workers. 

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