|Source: Americorps Seniors
By Sam Piha
A solution to the afterschool program worker shortage AND the need to diversify staff is hiring and deploying older adults or “wisdom” workers. We are working to raise understanding and awareness of the impact of hiring older adults to work in afterschool programs and how youth programs can utilize this talent pool.
There are multiple benefits of bringing on older workers. These benefits involve many of our stakeholders. The benefits below are listed in generationsworkingtogether.org and The 10 Benefits of Connecting Youth and Seniors written by Jenée Mendillo, Bayshore Home Care.
- Fill a void for children who do not have grandparents available to them;
- Provide an opportunity to learn new skills and understanding of history.
- Older Adult Workers
- Gives a sense of purpose;
- Invigorate and energize older adults;
- Provide an opportunity to learn new skills;
- Improved health and wellbeing: Some studies have found that intergenerational practice can have positive impacts on health and wellbeing, including reduced feelings of loneliness and improved physical and mental health outcomes.
- Increased understanding and respect: Intergenerational practice can help to increase understanding and respect between different generations and can help to reduce negative stereotypes, bias, ageism and prejudices;
- Intergenerational practice can help to build a stronger more inclusive workplace by bringing people of different ages together and promoting understanding and cooperation;
- Administration: In addition to working directly with kids, older adults come with past experiences that can be very useful in the administration realm.
- Larger Community
- Increased opportunities for volunteering and civic engagement: Intergenerational practice can provide opportunities for individuals of all ages to get involved in volunteering and civic engagement, which can have numerous benefits for both the individual and the community;
- Enhanced community cohesion: Intergenerational practice can help to build stronger, more inclusive communities by bringing people of different ages together and promoting understanding and cooperation;
- Increased understanding and respect: Intergenerational practice can help to increase understanding and respect between different generations and can help to reduce negative stereotypes, bias, ageism and prejudices.
|Source: Americorps Seniors
MYTHS ABOUT OLDER WORKERS
- Myth 1: Experienced workers are more expensive. It used to seem logical that the longer an employee worked for an organization, the more costly they became. That's no longer the case as more organizations have moved to performance and market-based pay models rather than the tenure-based models.
- Myth 2: 'Older' workers fear technology. With the right resources and training, anyone can learn, adapt, and embrace technology. Regardless of age, we all learn new programs and applications all the time.
- Myth 3: Over time, people stop caring about their work. Employers and their HR advisers will likely be glad to hear that more experienced workers are engaged workers. SHRM reports that 65 percent of employees over age 55 are engaged at work.
- Myth 4: 'Older' workers have more health problems. According to SHRM, younger workers actually take more sick days.
- Myth 5: 'Older' workers resist change. SHRM reports that more startups are founded by older people than younger people.”
RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE
- AARP Foundation- Experience Corps
- Americorp- Senior Corp
- Parentis Foundation
- Generations Working Together
- The Benefits of Wisdom and Experience
- 10 Advantages Inter-Generational Diversity Brings to the Workplace
- The 10 Benefits of Connecting Youth and Seniors
Hiring Older Adults in Afterschool Programs
This webinar is designed to raise understanding and awareness of the impact of hiring older adults to work in afterschool programs and how afterschool programs can utilize this talent pool. It will review the benefits of an age- diverse staff, provide program examples and tips on recruiting, train and utilize older “wisdom” workers in administrative and direct service positions. We will also share resources for afterschool leaders. We recommend this webinar to program and organizational leaders and program staff as they consider the best ways to recruit and incorporate multigenerational staff into their program.
To learn more and register, click here.