An Employers Guide to Engaging Older Workers

Ten years of research has made a compelling case for the value of older workers. Too many employers are not aware of these findings. Yet they face talent shortages that older workers could readily fill.


To help close this solution gap, The Encore Network developed the Age-Friendly Employers Guide. It gathers research from credible sources into an easy-to-use, actionable format to support needed change.

PURPOSE of the Guide:

  1. Summarize the most compelling research
  2. Highlight age-friendly policies and practices
  3. Make it easy to read, understand and adopt
  4. Offer resources for a deeper dive

CONTENTS of the Guide:

  1. Two trends that are reshaping the workforce
  2. What people over 50 bring to employers
  3. Age-friendly policies and practices
  4. Understanding older workers
  5. The truth about common and outdated myths
  6. Resources to facilitate a deeper dive


The Guide was developed by the Over-50 Employment Affinity Group and promoted by the Advocacy Affinity Group, both made up of members of The Encore Network, a coalition of leaders who champion the civic, social and economic contributions of people over 50.

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What recent research says about older workers:

  • They perform as well or better than other workers.
  • Mixed-age teams are significantly more productive and innovative than those with less age
  • Older workers stay in their jobs longer and younger employees stay longer when older workers are present.
  • When knowledge, productivity and stability are factored in, older workers are not more costly than others.
  • The number of older workers is growing while other age groups are shrinking, creating an opportunity for employers to capitalize on these benefits.

To learn more, download the Guide.


What the data shows about older workers:

  • They comprise 25% of the labor force, up from 12% in the past 30 years.
  • Their share will continue to grow, while other age groups shrink, because of falling birthrates and increasing longevity.
  • They want to work, many need to work, and with adequate support, they can fill talent pipelines in every industry.
  • Older workers learn as well as other workers and benefit from investments in re-skilling, up-skilling and other training and development programs.
  • They are our only growing labor source, ready and able to meet workforce needs now and in the future.

To learn more, download the Guide.


Communications Toolkit to promote the Guide includes:

  • Talking points
  • Customizable slide deck for presentations
  • Sample news articles
  • Sample op-ed or opinion articles
  • Sample social media posts

Download Communications Toolkit


How age-friendly employers view older workers:

  • Their perspective and experience give them better judgment, creativity and problem-solving skills.
  • They are more patient, empathetic and responsible in dealing with customers and co-workers.
  • They are more dependable, with lower turnover and higher average tenure.
  • Their presence on teams leads to better decisions, higher productivity and greater innovation.
  • They make better mentors for younger workers and keep them in place for longer tenures.

To learn more, download the Guide.

Download: 10 tips for spotting age-friendly employers