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Addressing the Aging Workforce
HR Magazine special supplement “HR and the Aging Workforce” (November), I certainly agree with SHRM President Henry Jackson when he stated that “The continued retirement of large numbers of Baby Boomers could significantly increase the existing skills gaps, and I believe that the skills gap is among the most critical/important challenges facing our nation, communities, organizations and economy today.”
The supplement addresses the significance of the retirement of the Baby Boom generation and the loss of tacit knowledge (i.e., the knowledge inside employees’ heads). The main suggestion Jackson offers is to determine the potential impact and then figure out how to mitigate the knowledge loss.
While the information he offers is good, let me suggest several resources that are readily available that could further help HR professionals when they are addressing the loss of employee knowledge, including:
All of these resources can help HR professionals address the loss of knowledge that occurs when employees retire.
Robert E. Downing, Ed.D. Chesapeake, Va.
Workplace Bullying: A Silent Epidemic
Kasi McLaughlin does a nice job of summarizing the current state of workplace bullying (October), but I disagree with her closing statement. Rather than standing on the legislative sidelines waiting for elected officials to act, HR professionals should actively address this issue in their workplaces in order to keep legislators and regulators out of it. Expecting the government to address bullying diminishes our role and others’ opinions of our profession.
Tom Minnick Albany, N.Y.
Accommodating Mental Illness
I couldn’t wait to read “Open Minds” (October). Being the daughter of a parent diagnosed with a chronic mental illness when I was 4 years old, and having been an HR director for 10 years, I have a very realistic view of mental illness.
While I’m glad we’re talking more about mental illness, it seems like the only time this issue makes the news is when high-profile actors admit they have such a condition or we have a tragedy like the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Then the urgency disappears until another tragedy unfolds.
Until the topic of mental illness gets the attention it deserves, the stigma will continue to exist and people with this illness will fall through the cracks in the system. If my family and I had not been strong advocates for the treatment of our family members, they would not be doing as well as they are now. I wish I was more hopeful, but I agree with the source quoted in the article whose name was withheld to protect his current job: “We’re definitely not there yet.” And I wonder if we will get there in my lifetime.
Maureen Johnson South Bend, Ind.
HR Stars Make Our Cover At Volunteer Leaders’ Summit
At SHRM’s Volunteer Leaders’ Summit in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 21, 2014, many of the Society’s most active volunteers posed for a cover shot during the welcome reception. Thanks for striking a pose with us; we think you’re all “Leaders of the Year.” Here’s a sampling of the photos you shared on Twitter.
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