Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pamper your older staffers

Older people tend to show up on time, have a wealth of experience in what works and doesn't in your business, and usually can get along pretty well with others.

Boomers make up a third of the workforce--there are not enough workers coming along to replace them.

But age nips at everyone and sometimes you need to accommodate them a little to keep them onboard.

Ruth W. Crocker, Govt Executive, Oct 28, 2014, writes about a recreational therapist at a skilled nursing facility. She was great with patients--knew what they needed to recover from a brain injury or trauma.

But over the years, her paperwork backed up. She was expected to write up cases by hand--while the doctors would dictate and a transciptionist would take it from there.

Finally she got a medical leave to recover from stress.

That did not have to happen. Some modifications in the environment can keep older workers on the job.

--Maintaining a motionless position is tiring--especially if the person is standing. Make position changes mandatory.

--Sitting for hour after hour can weaken the body--provide information on this and permit walking and stretching.

--If lifting is involved, provide proper equipment.

--Small handles are hard to grip as we grow older--check all handles.

--Improved lighting helps ALL workers. Between 20 and 50, as much as 75% of light does not reach the retina.

--Age-related hearing loss can benefit from sound proofing. Also minimize machine noise.

--Provide incentives to lose weight or stop smoking.

Supervisors should not treat older workers like children. In fact, supervisors can benefit from workshops on aging.

Right on!

That therapist? Eventually the whole joint benefited from a voice-activated dictation system.

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