EXTRACT from an article by Carol T Kulik, Research Professor of Human Resource Management, University of South Australia.
To make Australian workplaces supportive and productive environments for all employees, it has never been more important to engage mature-age workers and will only become more so.
When Australia’s Age Pension was introduced in 1909, only 4% of our population lived long enough to claim it.
Today, the average Australian is expected to live 15 to 20 years beyond the traditional retirement age of 65. By 2050 nearly a quarter of our population will be aged 65 and over.
Our research has found that organisations can boost engagement among mature-age workers by adopting specific management practices targeting their needs. These include better job design, mentoring opportunities and phased retirement.
Baby Boomers have an unprecedented opportunity to extend their working careers beyond the traditional retirement age. As the largest and wealthiest older generation ever, their decision to retire depends largely on how much they are enjoying their work.
Australia’s social policies are designed to keep people working longer, but the effectiveness of these policies depends on employers’ willingness to accommodate the needs of ageing employees.
We surveyed 666 men and women between the ages of 45 and 75. Over a three-year period (2011-2013), we found that people expressed less concern about negative age stereotypes and were more engaged in their work when their employer offered practices targeting mature-age workers.
In organisations without these practices, engagement levels of mature-age workers were 19-20% lower than in more supportive organisations.
SOURCE: Kulik, Carol t. “Keeping Mature-age Workers on the Job.” The Conversation, 17 October 2017.
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