Saturday Shoutout !!! The Ageing Workforce

Saturday Shoutout !!! The Ageing Workforce

Issue 1 | Number 4 | 24 March 2012

Graphics: © 2011 SFGYC.com

The discussion this week focuses on The Ageing Workforce. Conversations across many HR blogs are starting to revisit and discuss the critical issue of skills shortages across many professionals. Some enlightened employers have for many years offered flexible work arrangements and retirement planning seminars aimed at easing the transition out of work to retirement…however, a strategic approach is needed that addresses workforce planning, brings about culture change and positions the organisation to ride the age wave has been largely missing from the landscape (Geoff Pearman, StayingOn Program).

Quote of the Week – “Ageing is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength” – Betty Friedan

#1 An Age-Old Issue, Stayingon.com.au

We are facing one of the biggest workforce challenges of the 21st century, an unprecedented shift in the age distribution of our population not only in Australia and New Zealand but globally.  Employers will have little choice but to adapt, not just because older people are staying on at work, or because in ‘boomer’ style they will demand that companies adapt, but because their skills and experience will be needed.

#2 Population Ageing: How to Turnaround Attitudes to Older Australians?                      University of NSW

One of the ways many older people want to contribute is by staying in work. National Seniors Australia (NSA) reports that demeaning stereotypes are pushing older workers towards premature retirement. Michael O’Neill, NSA chief executive, says: “Unfounded assumptions around the energy, potential or job suitability of older workers are only serving to undermine their confidence, work performance and, ultimately, commitment.”

#3 The ‘Silver Tsunami’: Why Older Workers Offer Better Value Than Younger Ones, University of NSW

The world’s workforce has grown greyer despite predicted labour shortages as the baby boomers start to retire. While older workers can be skilled members of the workplace, many employers are reluctant to hire them because of myths about their cost and productivity. Other employers, however, recognize the value of older workers, suggesting that attitudes toward them are gradually changing.

#4 Leveraging an Older Workforce, Talent 2

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the percentage of Australians between the age of 55 and 65 is 13.5%. This percentage continues to increase, as the Baby Boomer generation moves into their sixties. With continuing low fertility rates, ever-increasing life expectancy, and a propensity for older workers to put off retirement, the number of mature workers in your workforce will be rising in the future. If you don’t already have a plan to embrace and leverage their skills, your company will miss out on the benefits from this experienced and loyal segment of the workforce.

#5 Why Employers Should Hire Employees Over 40, Interns Over 40

Were you worried that the older employee might have memory or health problems, not be familiar with or be able to be trained to use new technology, or might retire before he or she completes training? Myths, myths, and more myths suddenly develop in the minds of employers when they interview an older worker (50 to 64 years of age).

Next week’s blogOnboarding

About the Author                                                                                                                      Tony Wiggins is the Founder and UX Editor of Saturday Shoutout. Tony utilises the blog ‘The HR Architect’ as a social media network and platform that empowers HR professionals to network, assist and support one another, spanning different countries, subcultures and niches.

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