New Approaches to Human Resource Forecasting in the Public Sector: Learn More about What Government Agencies Are Exploring in the Way of Innovations in Retirement, Telecommuting, Security, and Training to Recognize and Use Older Workers as a Resource

By Gram, Joanne | The Public Manager, Winter 2003 | Go to article overview

New Approaches to Human Resource Forecasting in the Public Sector: Learn More about What Government Agencies Are Exploring in the Way of Innovations in Retirement, Telecommuting, Security, and Training to Recognize and Use Older Workers as a Resource


Gram, Joanne, The Public Manager


Early retirement and a graying workforce have created concerns for public sector human resource managers. Increased longevity and wellness have combined with the lifelong learning process to create a workforce that is available to contribute for many years beyond traditional retirement age. A new focus on retention of valued employees can provide positive transitions for new workers and customers. This article predicts future innovations in retirement, telecommuting, security, and training to recognize and use older workers as a resource. Related issues of recruitment, measurement, project management, and compensation are also considered.

The Way We Were

Retirement from public service once involved closing an office for a two-hour celebration at a local restaurant. A retiree was teased with reminders of past goofs and glories. A gift was given--and sometimes a plaque. For many, the age of 65 marked the graduation from the workplace to plans for a life of leisure. Social Security, Medicare, pensions, and individual retirement accounts were expected to provide for the next (often the last) 10 years of life.

Early Out

Budget reductions stimulated the early retirement process at many levels of government. Agencies believed a smaller workforce would relieve the financial strain. Workers between 40 and 50 years of age could not ignore incentives to retire. In some agencies, workers could buy service years to complete a retirement formula. Retirement parties became monthly treat days held in the office. When six people retired in July, snacks appeared in a break room on the second Thursday. Retirees discussed job searches in the private sector or in other public areas.

Offices lost more workers than anticipated. Through lack of foresight at least one city, Michigan's capital, lost elected officials including a mayor. Paying retirement benefits was not as cost effective as anticipated. Remaining workers were too few or too new to provide the same level of customer service. A number of workers also were nearing traditional retirement age. Human resource managers were pressed to do more with less while keeping pace with technology and competing with the private sector for badly needed talent.

Restructuring in the State of Michigan

Retirements, budget cuts, and a hiring freeze are the focus of restructuring efforts in most State of Michigan agencies. Early in 2003, many bureaus were eliminated or merged with other bureaus. Reduction in service is critical where systems depend on consistent resources. The closing of many regional human service offices and extended waits on automated telephone systems have the attention of the media. For example, child-support payments automatically paid through payroll deduction are not reaching custodial parents. Columnists for the Lansing State Journal confirmed that the Friend of the Court recently asked participants to be patient while child-support payments are delayed for months. A participant who bypasses the system and pays another directly risks prosecution as a "deadbeat parent."

Uncomfortable Facts

In August 2000, the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging published Older Americans 2000: Key Indicators of Well-Being. The report projects the "baby boom" generation will begin to turn 65 in the year 2011. By 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 or older.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics discovered the fastest growing part of the United States' population is individuals aged 85 years and older. They have been labeled the "older old." For "baby boomers" born between 1945 and 1964, there will be a challenge to maintain a desired retirement lifestyle.

The Partnership for Public Service projects that in the next few years, over half of the federal workforce may qualify for retirement. Within the same period, 71 percent of federal government managers will reach traditional retirement age.

Where Do We Go From Here? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

New Approaches to Human Resource Forecasting in the Public Sector: Learn More about What Government Agencies Are Exploring in the Way of Innovations in Retirement, Telecommuting, Security, and Training to Recognize and Use Older Workers as a Resource
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.