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The future is experienced: how to adapt to the ageing workforce

As unemployment looms and birth rates increase businesses increasingly need to look to age diversity – complimenting the dynamism of younger generations with the seasoned wisdom of older workers. We look at strategies business leaders can adopt to attract and retain more senior talent.

In the future, the older generation may become participants in the gig economy, generally seen as the preserve of younger workers. Some retirees may find they want to continue working and the gig economy will allow them to do this part-time and on a flexible schedule.

The pioneers of this trend will be corporate and consumer-goods companies that are age-inclusive in their recruitment processes, policies, organisational cultures, and skills development programmes.

By the end of the decade, Bain & Company estimates that globally, around 150 million jobs will shift to workers aged 55 and older.

Prioritising age diversity could really solve unemployment issues. This includes attracting and retaining older workers and is not just a necessity but a strategic advantage for business leaders. So, how can businesses thrive with an age-diverse workforce?

The advantages of an ‘age-diverse’ workforce

An age-diverse workforce, harnessing the experience of older employees and the fresh insight of younger generations, offers businesses a rich tapestry of perspectives. Older workers have much to bring to the table, not least seasoned judgement and a different, more mature perspective than their younger colleagues.

Older workers often make loyal, stable employees, many of whom have honed their leadership skills over decades in the workplace. They’ve developed strong decision-making skills through this experience, too, and often have a great network of contacts.

They also make great mentors for junior colleagues and often know the industry they’re in like the back of their hand, having watched it evolve over the course of their careers. This longevity complements the relative inexperience yet resilient self-confidence and determination of tech-savvy, socially conscious and resourceful younger workers such as Gen Z

Empowering an Age-Diverse Workforce: Key Strategies for Success

The potential of an age-diverse workforce is vast, but it can only be fully realized when businesses empower employees across all age brackets. Here are essential steps to address the unique needs and strengths of older workers:

1. Understand their needs

Delve into what motivates older workers at work, which differs significantly from younger counterparts. While salary remains important, older workers prioritize interesting work, autonomy, and flexibility. Understanding these priorities is crucial for retention and recruitment efforts.

2. Reskill

Invest in training and upskilling programs for seasoned employees. Embrace a new mindset that recognizes the value of lifelong learning, especially as people extend their working lives.

3. Respect their strengths

Allow older workers to leverage their expertise and strengths. Create opportunities for them to excel in areas where they shine brightest.

4. Prioritize flexibility

Offer flexible work arrangements to accommodate the diverse needs of employees across different life stages. For older workers, flexibility is often essential to balance caregiving responsibilities and personal health concerns.

5. Create healthier working conditions

Consider the impact of work environments on employee well-being. Hybrid working models can lead to a healthier and happier workforce by reducing commuting time and providing more opportunities for personal activities and family time. Additionally, design office spaces that promote well-being through features like recharging zones and nature integration.

6. Combat ageism

Implement processes to address age biases and foster an inclusive workplace culture. The 'Acknowledge-Grow-Embrace (AGE) model' involves recognizing age biases, implementing diverse hiring practices, and promoting cross-age respect and collaboration through growth mindsets and team-building initiatives.

By embracing these strategies, businesses can unlock the full potential of their age-diverse workforce and create a thriving workplace environment for all employees."

Embracing hybrid with the right workspace

With flexibility integral to an age-diverse approach, the workspace plays a pivotal role.

IWG, with its vast global network, offers workspaces that are designed to empower employees to work close to home or wherever is most convenient. These spaces prioritise employee wellbeing, catering to the diverse needs of team members regardless of age.

Reside all events 2 2024
Reside All Events 2024