Are Your Policies Showing Their Age?
By next year, one in three of all workers in the UK will be over 50 years old.
It’s a figure that will be a big surprise to many employers.
A recent ‘Centre for Ageing Better’ survey of 500 UK employers revealed that 24% of employers said they’re unprepared for an increasingly ageing workforce, and that just 20% of employers had discussed an ageing workforce strategically. The survey also found that one in five businesses said they have challenges managing age-diversity at work.
It’s these companies who’ll face a double skills shock: there are fewer younger workers than ever before, so when older employees leave or retire there will be a shortage of younger candidates to replace them. Which means the pool of candidates they advertise positions to will be older.
This demographic change could have crept up on you too. So now’s a great time to check you have the strategies and policies in place to make sure you’re an employer of choice for both your current and future employees (of all ages).
Be sure you’re an attractive employer to older job seekers
A motivated older job seeker will bring experience, skills, and often the ability to hit the ground running. Be sure to promote your policies that will attract these valuable, experienced job seekers such as flexible working, on-the-job training, and that you are an age-positive employer.
Don’t let your current older employees go
There aren’t the numbers of young workers to replace your older employees…that’s a fact. Be sure to tell your employees who are considering retirement that you value them and want them to stay as long as they can. Perhaps offer more flexible working, or a pay increase to make working a few more years that more appealing.
If you’ve noticed your older employees taking odd mornings off, or being absent every Friday, talk to them. It could be as simple as working out a flexible work schedule that can make their work/home life balance better. Communicate, also, to younger staff and make them aware of any age-related work policies you have. It’s a good time to talk to them about pension planning too!
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Everyone knows about your company’s free fruit bowl and bike purchase scheme, but do your older employees know you offer workplace support for any health-related issues they have? This could be modified chairs or computers, to extra time off if needed.
Be an equal opportunity employer, for everyone
When promotions and opportunities for career development come up, make sure that your older employees know about them. It only makes sense: now that there’s no default retirement age, people are choosing to work right through their sixties and into their seventies.
It’s not difficult getting ready for an ageing workforce. It’s all about being open to implementing age-friendly practices that flow through every level of your company.
Here at Avvio Reply, we have plenty of experience helping companies communicate policies that will attract and retain older employees. Give us a call, we’d love to help you embrace this major demographic shift.