We are all aware that the workplace isn’t always hospitable for aging workers, especially in manufacturing or fabrication environments. Age discrimination happens far too often in any industry, and shipyards have a lot of potential safety hazards. That doesn’t mean your older workers have lost their value. They have knowledge and skills that are essential to your success, so here are some workplace adaptations you can use to keep them on the job and motivated.
Adjust Physical Expectations
Your older workers are skilled and have a lot of wisdom to share, but they may also be slowing down physically. It’s okay to accept that older workers have physical limitations and adjust the workload to accommodate. There is no reason to think they are unable to handle other aspects of the job the same if not better than before.
Create Mentorship Programs
However, you do have to keep in mind that older workers will eventually retire. What you don’t want to do is lose their insight, knowledge, and wisdom. The best way to maintain this information is by creating a mentorship program where an older worker can work closely with a newer employee to teach them the skills they need to succeed.
Train in Technology
In the modern shipyard, technology continues to become more and more important. You may be hiring younger workers with tech skills already, but that doesn’t mean you have to let your older workers throw in the towel. They are just as capable of learning, and technology can even make their jobs easier.
Reconsider Employment Benefits
Older workers have different benefits needs from their younger counterparts. While health insurance may still be important, they may also be looking at retirement accounts and savings that will help them when they do leave the industry. Consider the ways you can improve benefits for these workers.
Be More Flexible
There may be instances where you’ll need to be more flexible with older workers. The truth is, there is some level of flexibility that will be handy for any employee. But older workers may have additional needs, especially physically, that need a little more time and attention.
Always Improve Communication
Communication is never something that should be put on the back burner. And enhancing communication with your older workers is simply as important as the communication you provide to your entire staff.