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There is no getting away from it - as a nation, we are getting older. By 2030, the number of people in the UK aged 65 and over will have increased by 50 per cent. With one in four people in the UK workforce now aged over 50 and with birth rates declining, there is an ever-increasing need for leaders and organisations to decide how they will successfully manage an ageing workforce.
This is an important population in any workforce, with a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer yet ensuring inclusion and engagement can be challenging, as misperceptions, inaccuracies and myths abound…
MYTH 1 – OLDER WORKERS ONLY HAVE A COUPLE OF YEARS UNTIL RETIREMENT
The Government classes an older worker as aged 50 and over - in today's terms, that is far from old. With people living longer, more active lives - and with the advent of pension changes - many of us will need to work well into our late 60’s – and perhaps beyond. There is usually at least 15 years of working life left once we hit 50 – plenty of time to make a significant impact!
MYTH 2 – OLDER WORKERS AREN’T INTERESTED IN TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Many older workers report a renewed interest in their career when their children have left home and, often, finances are less of an issue. It is surprisingly common for people in their 50’s to decide that they need a change in their lives, and often this period of ‘later life’ is a time of reflection around career ambitions.
Don’t assume that older workers are not open to new roles, promotions, retraining, redeployment or even relocation - a change of role or even career can be both revitalising and rewarding. Encourage older employees to think through their options and provide space for broader conversations with line managers about plans for the future. Ensure managers are trained and supportive to have these potentially sensitive conversations.
MYTH 3 – OLDER WORKERS CAN’T KEEP PACE WITH CHANGE – PARTICULARLY AROUND AI AND AUTOMATION
Resistance and reluctance to accept change is not an ‘age thing’ – individual character and personal resilience play a part but, more often than not, it’s situational. Ensure that changes within the workplace are well communicated and properly supported and there is no reason why older workers should react any differently to the rest of your workforce.
Our 3-part methodology steers clear of myths and assumptions – we break down barriers and ensure supporting interventions are created based on the facts:
Utilising a range of awareness sessions and workshops facilitated by fully accredited career coaches, and pulling from the insights uncovered by our unique employee survey focused on this important issue our methodology breaks down myths and misunderstanding, drives clarity and insights and supports the delivery of tailored strategies to enable organisations to gain maximum productivity and engagement from an increasingly multi-generational workforce.