An Aging Workforce
The last concert I went to was one put on by Fleetwood Mac. There was no opening act, no mosh pits and minimal stage effects. Yet, it was one of the most electric concerts I’ve attended. This amazing performance was from a band formed in 1967, which has essentially been performing for a little over 40 years.
After leaving the performance, and thinking about what I’d just witnessed, I realized that both their experience in front of audiences, and the years of practicing together, was an instrumental part (no pun intended) of why they were so amazing. Fleetwood Mac had a quality that could not be reproduced; reaching across a multigenerational audience. This same multigenerational integration is evident in today’s workforce.
The knowledge and expertise of our tenured employees is invaluable. Although this aging workforce is essential to company performance, it creates an inherit exposure. There’s an increase in both the probability of incident, as well as the duration of recovery when dealing with a more seasoned workforce. So, how do we combat this?
Prevention, which consists of engineering out as many exposures as possible, is the first line of defense. Having the essential job functions for a position identified will allow for the stressors of the job to be identified in an attempt to reduce or eliminate these exposures.
If exposures cannot be eliminated or reduced, and result in an injury, it’s important to understand and manage to the recovery process. Studies have shown that athletic injuries in those of 45 years of age take 15% to 18% longer to rehabilitate than the same injury in those 30 years and younger. While these studies were born out of sports science, this theory resonates in the Workers’ Compensation area. I’ve identified three key elements to managing these claims below:
- Identification of Pre-Loss Physical Condition
This will help determine a baseline. A medical professional can assist with identifying these conditions.
- Employee Engagement
Keeping employees engaged through the injury process has shown to both reduce the duration and likelihood of litigation. Light duty and continued communication with the employee is essential to maintaining employee engagement.
- Quality Medical Care
Ensure that the medical providers involved are taking the employees' age, co-morbidities and possible outcomes into consideration. Utilize outcome-based networks, and nurse case management.
At Assurance, we’re proud to be a multigenerational workforce. It makes us who we are, and we’re honored to have employees who have been with us for decades. We encourage you to keep on engaging your multigenerational workforce, too!
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