We are getting older but are also active for longer
It’s a fact – people are living longer and want or need to remain in the workforce beyond what has been the traditional retirement age.
This demographic phenomenon has been reinforced by legislation which now prevents enforced retirement by date of birth as well as the deferment of the state pensionable age. In addition, the rate of change is requiring businesses and employees to constantly learn new skills and adopt new working methods. However, with high levels of employment, there is not a ready supply of younger or migrant workers to fill skill gaps.
New conversations required for both employers and employees
This reality is here now and is a growing issue for employers. A fresh approach is required to actively engage with older workers.
For some employers, new policies around flexible and part time working will be required. For others, retraining, retaining and recruiting employees in their 50s and 60s will become the norm. For many, the bias in manpower planning towards younger workers will no longer be effective, or indeed acceptable.
For employees, all their expectations and life plans have been set in an age where life was a linear process of education, work and retirement with life expectancy of 75. But these ideas are no longer valid as later life becomes mixed and varied with work and learning as an essential component to fund and provide purpose in their lives.
This all requires fresh thinking and new conversations within organisations, families, and between employers and employees.