According to research from The CIPD, only a fifth of employers currently have a strategy agreed at board level to manage a more age diverse workforce. Given our aging population, as well as the retirement age potentially rising further in the future, the percentage of older workers within employment can be expected to increase, and so it is a business responsibility to take measures to adjust to an aging population in the workplace.
The vast changes to where and how we work, expedited by the Coronavirus pandemic is one that many older workers may not be as familiar with, and while working from home has brought multiple challenges, it has arguably lessened the strain for all workers. Removing the pressures of travel and commuting will undoubtedly of had a positive impact, particularly in cases of disability, long-term health conditions or caring responsibilities.
Supporting all workers through this unprecedented shift in work culture has been paramount, from technical support at home, enhancing skills to adapt in uncertain times, to ensuring the lines of communication are still open for professional and personal development.
“It is important to look at the future of work when it comes to upskilling on digital, data and tech. How do we make sure our aging demographic workforce are upskilled, and those individuals feel comfortable, included and not left behind in terms of our innovations? You have to invest in training, systems and upskilling.”
Emma Shuttleworth, Talent Acquisition, Director, L’Oréal
Diversity isn’t about implementing a new expensive, technology system. Instead, it is about disrupting processes and highlighting gaps for improvement. It can be overwhelming to look at the whole diversity and inclusion picture, but by shining a light on the root cause of non-inclusion or lack of diversity in a particular area, you can focus your business efforts on improving that.
Create mixed-age work teams
There are multiple benefits to building age diverse teams within a business, not just for the individuals learning and working together but for the organisation as a whole. By avoiding creating teams who are made up of only one age demographic and experience, you can move away from stereotypes and create inclusive environments where employees thrive by seeing opportunity across all levels.
Reward employee loyalty
In a world where career choices are vast and competition to attract the best talent is fierce, voluntary turnover can be high. Rewarding and recognising long standing employees within your business is crucial to not only improving retention rates but reducing disengagement and increasing employee value.
Focus on continuous training and upskilling
Access to training courses and higher education has increased over the past half century, with 40% of 25 to 30-year-olds having at least an undergraduate degree, compared to 23% of people over 50. With rising standards for professional qualifications, older workers may find it difficult to quantify and compare the skills they’ve attained through years of experience vs academic achievements.
Job scope and role requirements continuously change, so providing experienced staff with regular refresher training, as part of a positive personal goal-driven approach, will remove fears around deskilling and pay dividends in improving productivity.
For businesses unsure on how to move forward with their wider Diversity & Inclusion strategy, RTM’s white paper is now available with practical, tangible steps towards creating meaningful change in the workplace.
Take the step today towards creating an inclusive and culturally diverse workforce – for all.
Download our white paper here