We at SHRM, the world's largest association devoted to human resource management, applaud the winning organizations as models for all U.S. businesses, many of which face the challenge of competing in an increasingly global marketplace. The organizations being honored by AARP appreciate that engaging and retaining older workers is crucial to succeed over the next decade.
More broadly, inclusive people management strategies will be critical to business success and our nation as we deal with ongoing economic storms and strive to stay competitive globally. That's why SHRM was pleased to form a partnership with AARP last year to promote and help implement strategies for leveraging the talents of older workers.
As just one facet of that partnership, we are honored to co-sponsor AARP's September 13-14 Best Employer Awards Dinner, CEO Roundtable Luncheon, and thought leadership conference in Chicago.
Like AARP, we are eager to address the challenges and opportunities of a maturing, multi-generational workforce. The nearly 260,000 HR professionals in more than 140 countries who belong to SHRM are passionate about their unique role in maximizing the productivity of a workforce that, for the first time in history, includes four generations.
Like most developed countries, the U.S. faces a major demographic challenge: This year, the oldest of the nearly 80 million baby boomers have turned 65. According to the Pew Research Center, about 10,000 Americans reach that milestone every day and begin thinking about retiring. Most organizations can't afford to suddenly lose such a reservoir of work experience and seasoned judgment. To keep those experts on board as long as possible, HR professionals are pursuing innovative strategies such as flexible work arrangements, phased retirement and wellness programs.
To succeed, they also need the support of other concerned individuals and groups such as AARP. About half of all AARP members are still working. Others are fully or partially retired — or considering the options. But all of you recognize the benefits our nation can realize by addressing the needs and priorities of your generation.
The AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 Award winners have proved that they share in that knowledge. With you, SHRM and its members salute these organizations, and commend them for their foresight.
Hank Jackson is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management.