What is the responsibility of our corporate leaders when facing a world where a large majority regards senior citizens as a group of second-class citizens? Statistics show that seniors (65+) represent 12.7% of U.S. population, about one of every eight Americans.
Mature adults are the fastest growing demographic segment of the population and at age sixty-five, 23% are still working for a variety of reasons – to supplement their income or their health insurance benefits; to not have to be dependent upon relatives; or just to continue to make use of their talents and abilities by working. (1)
Private Industry Taking Notice
Privately-held corporations are taking notice. A Clearwater, Florida-based corporation, PostcardMania, started hiring more senior citizens. When the CEO’s mother passed away due to cancer, Gendusa started looking for something for her father to do.
“His whole life revolved around my mother,” said Joy, “I noticed that without something to create on, he was not as happy.” Joy hired her father Buying a Boca Raton business, not expecting the surprising outcome.
“The staff loved him – and he loved them. I saw him light up when he got to contribute to the overall expansion of the company.”
Not only did Joy’s father, Bernie Lebowitz, get attention, but he was invaluable in working on a much needed project to identify reasons for failed sales calls so that targeted marketing messages could be tailored to those past prospects and clients to generate more revenue.
“He was so conscientious – he would work on the weekends to ensure that he got his job done and ensured it he did more than he did the week before – every week,” said Joy.
Bernie, a successful entrepreneur in the shipping industry before retirement, recommended his friend, Murray Schact, for hire to the PostcardMania employee roster as well. Schact, a former IBM executive, applied and came on board to help PostcardMania maximize their database for increased sales.
Before hiring her father, the majority of PostcardMania was a large percentage of young aspiring adults with little or no experience. That younger demographic – willing, eager minds that could learn a trade – excelled into Gendusa’s top executives, being paid well above the norm. Gendusa quickly boomed her enterprise into the fastest-growing direct mail marketing firm in the nation recognized by Inc. Magazine in 2005. But bringing experienced, well-educated, elderly employees into the mix changed the chemistry of the company – a change that was a welcome to Joy.