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Celebrating 50 years of Building High Performance Corporate Teams - 1971 to 2021

The following is an article written by Lisa Taylor, President of Challenge Factory, a leader in demographic-based workforce transformation. They work with organizations with an aging workforce who need talent management and career programs that deliver business results.

The dramatic impact of longevity on organizations was predicted decades ago. Indeed, in 1961, President John F. Kennedy put a formal structure in place to ensure that Congress would be attentive to the opportunities and challenges increased life expectancy presented to existing programs and policies. Since science had added years to our lives, Kennedy’s vision was to ensure added life to our years. One corollary: increased life expectancy means longer work-life too.

Today, more than five decades later, topping the list of strategic issues plaguing senior executives are the aging workforce, succession planning, knowledge transfer and the skills gap. In short, organizations are far behind the rising curve of workplace demographics and are scrambling to catch up. The ones that do are bound to reap substantial rewards.

According to the Human Capital Management Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “total human capital costs, also known as total cost of workforce, average nearly 70% of operating expenses.” In many organizations 30-40% of the workforce is now over 50 — or will be by 2030. That number accounts for no less than 25-30% of operating expenses.

Put another way, misjudging or under using the talent pool is extremely costly. Yet for most organizations, career paths, talent programs and workforce planning are based on outdated assumptions about the aging segment of their workforce.

Recent research points to an inescapable conclusion: Forward thinking CEOs and leadership teams have a brief window of opportunity to leverage the 50+ workforce if they seek to gain a competitive advantage.

To learn how Challenge Factory can assist you in leveraging your workforce, contact Lisa via phone at 416-915-4164 or email at