Many older employees now plan to work years past the traditional retirement age to recoup lost savings. And as the age of your workforce increases, so do workers’ health problems. Two ways to keep costs under control:
1. Plan for their future
As employees age, health factors can become an ever-increasing barrier to productivity.
So the sooner you introduce your employees to wellness programs, the more productive they’ll be in their later years.
Employers with well-established wellness programs are seeing lower rates of diabetes and heart disease among their older workers than other comparable organizations’ 40-and-over employees.
2. Tell them to speak up
Older workers are less likely to suffer workplace injury (usually because they are taken off the front line and given safer jobs). But when they do get hurt, they recover slower, create costlier claims and are less likely to return to work.
That means employers must place a heavy emphasis on early identification and intervention. Encourage employees to seek treatment as soon as any symptoms of injury or illness are discovered.
The key to getting workers to take action: Assure them they won’t be discriminated against when they become ill.
One thing to be aware of: Shortly after getting this message of prevention out to workers, odds are the level of reported injuries and illnesses will increase. But don’t worry, this trend will reverse itself in time.