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Today's Newsletter
  1. Executive Update
  2. Upcoming Events
  3. Data Point of the Day
  4. AARP Insights
  5. Featured Promising Practice
  6. Multigenerational Workforce News
  7. Relevant Resources & Reports
  8. Stepping Into the Future
  9. Join Us!
  10. Demonstrate Your Commitment to Experienced Workers 
  11. Archives 
Dear Executives - 
What we are facing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is unprecedented, and it is changing the way we approach work indefinitely. With people being asked to continue physically distancing to prevent the spread of the disease, businesses are adapting quickly to ensure continuity of operations. Just last month on our Collaborative Webinar, we learned that over 90 percent of companies participating in the webinar had to move to telework whether they had a policy prior to the COVID-19 pandemic or not. For those that can leverage remote options, there may be new efficiencies that surface as a result of having to respond to this pandemic. Yet other firms are in the tough position of being forced to close or lay off employees due to a decline in business. The challenges vary across sectors and industries. The only universal truth is that everyone has been affected in some way.
These are challenging times. The COVID-19 crisis is testing our public and private sector systems, impacting workers of all ages in a number of ways. Unanticipated spells of unemployment, limited emergency savings, and lack of access to paid sick or caregiving leave are challenges all are having to navigate. While these are trying times, we can create a stronger and more inclusive future for workers of all ages. New ideas and bold solutions can rise out of the ashes of this disaster. This pandemic shows the need for long-term steps to ensure people have the financial resilience to make it through these types of crises. AARP is working to help our members, their families, and the country weather this crisis. As I have noted previously, we are publishing information and tips daily – in both English and Spanish – on our website at
Below are additional resources you might find useful:
  • AARP published an article, “Coronavirus' Devastating Economic Impact on Workers Age 50-Plus,” outlining the need for emergency funds, paid leave, and age-discrimination protection for the 54 million U.S. workers age 50 and older.
  • A 45-minute Mercer webinar on Navigating COVID-19 provides up-to-date information on the outbreak, lessons the human resources consulting firm has learned from working with its clients, and potential ways to help businesses and employees.
  • Partners in Change, a consulting firm based in New Zealand, where employees age 55 and older make up close to 25 percent of the country’s total workforce, has also developed a fact sheet on working with older employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • AARP continues to host weekly Tele-Town Halls with the nation’s top coronavirus experts so that you can ask questions and hear the latest on the health and lifestyle recommendations that are continually being released.
We will make it through this crisis by supporting and learning from each other. Please send your thoughts, experiences, and insights to  We will highlight some of these ideas and practices in our next newsletter.


Jean Accius, PhD
Senior Vice President of Global Thought Leadership, AARP
LinkedIn | @JeanAccius | Jean Accius’ Bio
  • April 22, 2020, at 11:00 AM (EDT): Bi-monthly Peer Learning Conference Call on Investing in your Number #1 Resource: Your Workers. This is an exclusive opportunity for members of the Learning Collaborative.  Exclusively for members of the Collaborative. RSVP here.
  • April 23, 2020, at 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM (EDT): Join AARP for two live tele-town hall events on the Coronavirus and its impact. This first event will address concerns about supporting loved ones in long-term care facilities. The second will focus on the impact of the coronavirus across communities of different demographics. Learn more here.   
  • May 20, 2020, at 11:00 AM (EDT): Webinar: Reskilling and Upskilling Workers. Speakers will include Anna Dixon, Chief Executive of the Centre for Ageing Better in the United Kingdom and an employer partner.  Registration coming soon.
Source: Vodafone global survey reveals rapid adoption of flexible working. Vodafone, 2016
Now Is the Time to Prepare Your Workforce for the Future
By Ramsey Alwin, Director, Thought Leadership - Financial Resilience, AARP
If there has ever been a time to appreciate workers, it is now. They are keeping businesses, including our food suppliers and utilities, up and running, despite less than ideal circumstances. Some are doing it at the risk of their own health and wellbeing.
This situation is unlike any other in our history and we owe it to workers and the economy to learn the lessons from this pandemic so we can weather the next crisis. Being adaptive, resilient, and thinking long-term are important characteristics being tested in these unprecedented times, and businesses and employees are adjusting to meet public health guidelines as we all do our part to try to flatten the curve. In the interim, they are finding creative ways to pivot their companies’ priorities that can turn out to be enduring innovations for their business and work as we emerge from the crisis. Businesses are learning from these experiences and many are using this time to think beyond the next two months and plan for the type of workplace that is prepared for economic disruptions and protects workers and consumers.
Age-proofing workforce policies and practices will also provide an organization with a competitive advantage and shore up business continuity. One of the first steps to doing this is to engage workers of all generations, abilities, and technical knowledge with multiple methods of communication that make information, resources, and tools accessible, transparent, responsive, and useful. This will help all employees continue their own work, manage their health, access benefits, communicate with others, and stay up to date with relevant guidance that may change daily. When employees' basic needs are met, the result is a loyal and capable workforce that is good for productivity and brand promotion. It can also establish an infrastructure that buffers your operations from unexpected events, such as public health crises and natural disasters.
If we can think beyond the immediate pain points and towards the long-term, we can begin to lay the groundwork for an engaged, committed, and prepared workforce that will be key to hitting the ground running once physical distancing restrictions are lifted.
Anticipating future needs is key to a company’s success. A full decade ago, UnitedHealth Group saw a business need for age diversity in its workforce. It has continued to address age issues within its workforce training programs ever since. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, UnitedHealth Group employs 140,000 people across the United States and consists of two business platforms: health benefits and services.

UnitedHealth Group is committed to diversity and believes that it can better meet the needs of its multicultural clients, communities, individuals, and shareholders by leveraging the depth of a diverse workforce. Several years ago, its Diversity & Inclusion Council recognized that changing customer demographics (i.e., the aging of the population) would require a workforce that could communicate effectively with customers of all ages.

UnitedHealth Group’s Diversity & Inclusion Council has been in place for over a decade. The Council consists of senior-level executives and represents every business aspect of the company. Members are charged with embedding diversity and inclusion more deeply into the workforce. The group provides strategic direction and sets diversity goals for the enterprise, with a focus on the workforce, customers, suppliers, and communities.

In the workforce area, UnitedHealth Group has a talent recruitment strategy that actively seeks to attract talent of all ages. The company has a college recruitment program and an internship program for college and MBA students. UnitedHealth Group also recruits military, veteran, and military spouse candidates and specifically seeks to recruit talent ages 50 and older. Workplace policies and programs are in place and are aligned to support recruitment and retention of mature workers.

One particular piece of the company’s program exemplifies the meeting point of diversity and business objectives. Once on board, all employees are required to take an online training course titled “Valuing Diversity & Inclusion.” For example, one module of the training course explores the differences in style and work approaches of people from different generations. The course is designed to raise employees’ awareness that people from different generations may have different preferences and to help employees understand that they may need to utilize alternative approaches when assisting certain customers.

A variety of additional online courses, including some about the multigenerational workforce, are available to all employees. UnitedHealth Group also hosts Diversity & Inclusion webinars several times a year. Given the company’s large and geographically dispersed workforce, webinars are an effective way to deliver information and enable large numbers of employees to view and participate in an event. Webinar topics are chosen based on trends as well as feedback from employees and business area leaders. The format is like a radio show, where a human resources staff member facilitates a conversation with an outside expert and an internal staff person. UnitedHealth Group has found that, often, over 2,000 employees tune in to these webinars, which are also available to employees for viewing online after the original broadcast.

For more information, visit AARP’s Disrupting Aging in the Workplace: Profiles in Intergenerational Diversity Leadership report.
The Living, Learning and Earning Longer Collaborative is working with global companies to refine the business case for age diversity and highlight promising practices from around the world. With WEF and OECD, AARP is considering the complexity of the multigenerational workforce when evaluating an organization’s recruitment and retention practices, flexible work and caregiving benefits, lifelong learning and training, and assessment procedures. 
Our findings will identify standards, policies, and practices to support an age-diverse and inclusive workforce ecosystem, ensuring an activated multigenerational workforce that can deliver innovation and resilience in the face of economic and global uncertainty. At the 2021 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, we will release our conclusions and recommendations in a digital learning platform.
Join AARP, the World Economic Forum, the OECD, and at least 50 employers in a Living, Learning & Earning Longer Collaborative to identify and share multigenerational, inclusive workforce practices. To formally join the Learning Collaborative, contact Jeffrey Gullo at AARP or Haleh Nazeri at the World Economic Forum.

The AARP Employer Pledge Program is a nationwide group of employers that stand with AARP in affirming the value of experienced workers and are committed to developing diverse organizations.
Employers who sign the Pledge agree that they:
  • Recognize the value of experienced workers
  • Have immediate hiring needs
Demonstrate your organization’s commitment by signing the AARP Employer Pledge:
“We believe in equal opportunity for all workers, regardless of age, and that 50+ workers should have a level playing field in their ability to compete for and obtain jobs. Recognizing the value of experienced workers, we pledge to recruit across diverse age groups and to consider all applicants on an equal basis as we hire for positions within our organization.”
Sign the Pledge!
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