This blog is drawn from the works of Megan W. Gerhardt, Josephine Nachemson-Ekwall and Brandon Fogel HBR Contributors for this article.
HBR Article on Mid Life Employee Management

The chronic shortage of skilled employees in so many critical industries is a real problem. The ability for institutions and businesses to rebuild their teams after the decimation of the pandemic. Add to this the desire for many employees to reappraise their work-life balance we have a perfect storm of skills shortages.

The unemployment level falling below the 4. 0% highlights a risk to our ability to rebuild the economy due to labour force shortages. The shortage of nurses has been well reported on. The answer to solving this problem may be easily addressable.

Imagine the power of the pool of nurses that are now on the age pension that could return to work for the number of shifts they are comfortable with. Imagine the impact on the living standards of these nurses.

The answer to solving these problems across many industries may be easily addressable.

Potential employees that have a real need to earn a supplementary income that has the right to work whilst maintaining their pension structure and payments from the government.

The Government’s role will be to allow age pension qualifiers to earn a wage up to a limit that does not impact the pension rights and payments.

A business’s role is to offer flexible workdays and identify that age diversity can be a strength in organisations.

• Workforce available for institutions and businesses may be addressable.
• The lives of skilled struggling pensioners can also be improved.
• The lift in workforce participation and productivity drives the economic strength of the country.

Midlife employees are an asset, not a liability

Midlife Employees can bring to the team abilities, skills and knowledge that can deliver better decision-making, more-productive collaboration, and improved overall performance.

The idea that midlife employees struggle with learning new skills can be far outweighed by the skills and experiences they bring with them.

What is needed is the acceptance and consideration of the difference in our management of the teams that include midlife employees.

Understanding why different generations might behave differently may be a great aid in evaluating how to address differences.

Team tension between the different age groups can be valuable. Productive differences between generations and ways to benefit from each other’s perspectives, knowledge, and networks are valuable.

Midlife employees can and do learn new technologies and ways of working with them. It might just take a little more time and patience.

In successful intergenerational teams, members believe that they have something to learn from colleagues in different age cohorts.

Check out our previous blog for government to act on this issue.
Let Age Pension Return to Work