The Benefits Are Tangible For Those Working Later Into Life
The average working person is now continuing their career later and later into life. According to statistics reported by CNBC, the unemployment rate for over 55s sits at 3.2%; a record low, and much lower than the average. This clearly outlines the appetite of the older generations to keep on working.
The reasons behind this trend are numerous, but a few key themes are important for HR professionals to understand. Presenting an environment in which these people can obtain the benefits they seek will also bring benefit to the company. Older workers bring with them a variety of important and unique skills.
Why people are working longer
The most obvious reason for working longer is financial benefit. Whether for good reasons or not, the regular income offered by employment is always desirable, and keeping out of the home – and busy – prevents it being spent. Delaying cessation of work also increases social security benefit allowance, creating a greater money pool for seniors when they do finally retire.
The flip side is where money is being used to stay afloat; this is a key area for HR advisers to be mindful. The negative effects of money-based stress were well established in a 2014 Northwestern University study; high blood pressure, depression, stress and overall worse health. HR functions should be keen to safeguard their employees, both for the benefit of the employee and for the productivity of your workforce.
The other main benefits are holistic. Continuing with work is a way to keep the mind sharp. When combined with the exemplary work ethic that older workers often exhibit, productivity can be pushed up.
Many companies are now proactively managing older workers to maximize their benefits. For example, Reuters report that Deloitte and account firm PKF O’Connor Davies offer bespoke career pathways for over 55s which encompass flexible working patterns. This is all in the pursuit of retaining skills.
The benefits to the business
These retained skills are why having a segment of older workers is a fantastic opportunity for businesses. The experience and skills brought by having decades of on-the-job experience retained within a business cannot be underestimated. This will also filter down into the workforce.
According to business analyst Celinne de Costa, newer generations of workers are crying out for mentors, rather than managers or precisely crafted training programs.
Having savvy employees that have built up respect, experience and a sense of how the company ticks is an invaluable tool for ensuring the next generation through the door become productive workers. There is also a greater chance of retention from this manner of recruitment and training, offering benefits for the HR department and a few less headaches.
Older and senior workers are not a bad thing in the workplace.
They are often willing to continue working of their own volition, and offer a diverse range of skills that is often unique in an expanding or evolving workforce. Value their contributions and pay close attention in order to maintain your productive workplace.
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