- Rachel Doyle
How prepared is your business to hire older workers and to keep your workers in work for longer?
The workforce is ageing and will continue to do so.
Over 50s make up 42% of the UK workforce in 2020, up from 31% in 1992. Older workers are delaying their retirement age and are on track to take up a larger percentage of their workplace demographic. It is estimated that this will rise to 47% by 2030. As we continue to live longer and crucially, more healthily, work is taking on a different meaning for people as they move past 50. Staying in work also helps older workers to plan for their retirement and to raise more money to enjoy once they decide to give up work.
While most recruiters and companies have been focusing on Gen Z and Millennial workforce, no company is complete without a balanced team across all age groups. It’s time to pay attention to your baby boomers and look at ways you can integrate them into your workplace for years to come.
Recognise the value of an older workforce
A common stereotype about the older workforce is that they are stagnant and outdated in their ideas and may struggle to stay up to date with current technology. This simply isn’t the case. Your way towards valuing the older generation in your company starts with recognising their importance. Sure, maybe some of your team members are a little behind on technology – there is training available to help them with that. But one thing you can’t teach them is their knowledge and expertise that has taken decades to build. So, recognise them for it and provide opportunities for sharing their knowledge and stimulate connection with younger team members.
A great way to embrace the experience of older workers is to assign them mentees. Instead of hiring an external contractor or mentoring the new hires and interns yourself, recognise the wisdom older team members have and celebrate their legacy with you. This would be such a rewarding opportunity for all staff members involved.
The value of older workers lies in their knowledge, experience, and loyalty to your company. So, create an environment where they can focus on providing that value and offer the necessary technology and other adjustments to meet their needs. This will make their experience at work much more enjoyable and empowered.
Early retirement is not for everyone, however, the older we get the more work demands can burn us out. Older workers will have different priorities and care more about a healthy work life balance. Provide flexible work opportunities that will help them do just that. For example, offering part time hours, remote working, sabbaticals will all set you apart as a conscientious employer who cares about the individual needs of their team. This way, you get to retain older workers’ talent and skills, without compromising their need for a different lifestyle as they age.
Encourage connectedness and understanding
Providing emotional intelligence and soft skills training is a great way to encourage better communication across the different demographics of your team. Especially, if you are trying to diversify your workforce. While some older workers are open-minded and wouldn’t have any reservations, others may hold on to biases that prevent them from working effectively with others. This is where honesty and vulnerability is the best policy. You need to know what fears and barriers each demographic may harbour towards each other and offer appropriate solutions to overcome them.
Provide skills training
It’s an unfortunate stereotype that older workers do not want to keep up with new and emerging skill sets or technology. Allowing this bias to affect how you run your business can cause older workers to feel left behind and prompt them to leave or feel that they are not contributing to the team. Instead, you should look at the skills your team are lacking in and ensure they are brought up to date. Providing regular training and a safe space where they can learn, re-train and re-develop their skills will continuously integrate them into your team and provide a seamless working environment.
If you are looking for help with your recruitment - get in touch with Auxeris today
We have a network of specialist recruiters who work with your business to understand your culture and identify the best fit candidates for your roles. If you are looking for a recruiter who identifies potential candidates based on culture fit and potential, as well as understanding your business needs, we'll bring you the best fit experience to your role. We’ll never just serve you one candidate, nor will we send numerous CVs for a role. We meticulously vet candidates before they are sent over to you to ensure they meet your recruitment brief.