Employers should make a concerted effort to engage their older workers when it comes to their career and personal development or risk losing out on this loyal group of employees wealth of experience and industry knowledge, new research* from AXA PPP healthcare reveals.
With the phasing out of the default retirement age, older workers are set to account for a growing proportion of the UK’s working population. Emphasising the trend of putting off retirement, AXA PPP healthcare research finds that 15 percent of tomorrow’s would-be retirees – the over fifties – plan to work into their seventies and beyond. However, nearly a third of over fifties (30 percent) said they didn’t feel they had a career path, compared with (a less pessimistic) 13 percent of those under fifty. Furthermore, whilst the same proportion, 50 percent, of employees either side of fifty reported having had a one-to-one meeting with their line manager in the past six months, only 15 percent of the older workers had discussed their career with their line manager, compared with twice the number (29 percent) of those under fifty. A third (33 percent) of the under fifties viewed their career as ‘progressing’, compared with 12 percent of respondents aged over fifty. Indeed, 23 percent of over fifties believe their career path is winding down. All of this leaves one in four of the over fifties considering looking for a new job in the next two years.
James Freeston, sales and marketing director at AXA PPP healthcare, said: “It’s crucial for employers to have positive, constructive career discussions with all employees. Our research suggests that this is dropping-off for the over fifty age group and, as such, employers risk leaving this important segment of their workforce feeling under-appreciated and marginalised. By maintaining a positive relationship with older workers, not only are employers more likely to keep them fully engaged in their roles, they can make the most of their experience and knowledge – ensuring they remain valued, motivated and productive throughout their working lives.”
The study also revealed that: One in six over fifties felt their line manager supported them
Nearly half (49 percent) of this group reported to a younger line manager. “Older workers’ loyalty and experience can be an invaluable asset that employers can harness to the benefit of the whole business. Bringing older and younger workers together through the likes of mentoring programmes, for example, can promote knowledge-sharing across the ages,” he continued. “By Taking positive steps now to engage the UK’s ageing workforce, businesses will be better placed as they move into the future.”