Student Research: Kenneth A. Scott

, Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH), 2009
Faculty Advisor: Michael A. Silverstein

Preparing for an Aging Workforce: A Formative Evaluation of an Action Plan Development Workshop


This paper documents a formative research project that evaluated a workshop designed to help organizations design age-friendly workplaces. A gap exists between knowledge of an ongoing demographic shift toward an older workforce and appropriate responsive action among employers. In light of the fact that the baby boomer generation is approaching traditional retirement age, the degree to which employers are unprepared will likely have implications for the health and safety of older workers, as well as for the ability of those businesses to remain competitive. National demographic trends toward a higher old-age dependency ratio will likely lead to higher numbers and proportions of older workers than have existed in recent decades. A workshop titled “Becoming an Age-Friendly Workforce,” was designed to address, at the organizational level, the demographic changes that are occurring in the workforce. During a pilot phase, the workshop was delivered to three employers: Honeywell, Inc.; The Boeing/IAM Joint Health and Safety Institute; and Weyerhaeuser. This paper describes a formative evaluation of the pilot-test phase. During each workshop, participant’s opinions were surveyed with Likert-type scales and open-ended questions. Following each workshop, verbal feedback about the workshop was collected. The survey results and verbal comments were compiled and analyzed to improve the final version of the workshop, to document the workshop development process and to design a tool for further evaluation of the finalized workshop.