As a member of a small business owner’s group, a frequent topic in our meetings is the lack of quality hard working employees.

Here are some of my thoughts in response to this growing concern among my peers.

Mature workers make up some of the most highly educated, extremely productive employees and come from one of the highest achieving work forces in history.  

In today’s employment market, older workers are still interested in continuing in the workplace. Many of these workers still want to and even need to work for a number of reasons and will for years to come.

Businesses can continue to be competitive by hiring these more mature workers. You as the employer may have to develop some workforce options for this group of workers but it just may be the best choice for your needs.

Most every community has developed educational programs and training to help this group of workers refine their skills, add new skills and in some cases totally change their existing skill sets.  Both traditional and emerging fields of education are available to reposition this group for a renewed impact in the workforce. Check out local colleges and training institutes.  Oklahoma has one of the best Vo-Tech programs in the country and offer short term programs to ramp up workers quickly.

In order to compete in the marketplace, mature employees must endeavor to keep their superior skills on the upward swing. Retooling, or like one of my clients says, re-purposing, which is upgrading your skills through continuing education and training is necessary. Relearning of new ways of working can energize the workplace and the workers.  Employers can bring back seasoned, wise and reliable workers for the challenges in the workplace today.

As businesses continues to face new challenges and opportunities, we must count on hiring back this generation as we address the continuing talent shortages.  To keep our businesses competitive and economically strong we will need all of us working together.

So mature workforce of which I am a part – the world has become increasingly smaller with the advancement of technology.  We must continue to adapt and learn new skills if we want to succeed in the worldwide economy as a part of the productive paid workforce.

Never forget no matter what your age or generation that you were raised in, it is only when you stop learning, unlearning and relearning that you become unemployable or undesirable in the workforce. Sustainability in the workplace is for those who continually contribute and look for ways to give value to the employer by bringing your A game. Just think what the workplace could be today with an A-Team.

We have some quality older workers that are looking for an employer that wants their contributions.

Your experience is worth sharing, I would love to hear of your success in closing the gap on the talent shortage.

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Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Travis has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Tulsa for over 30 years. He is a certified Life Options Retirement Coach and is certified to facilitate and deliver the Manager As Coach Learning Series (MACLS) through CPI, and a certified Career Coach. He previously served on the board of Career Partners International (CPI) and is an equity partner in CPI, offering a global reach with over 350 offices.