Spotlight on the advantages of age and a multi-generational workforce

Older workers solve 2 critical problems faced by employers today: the skills gap, and the labour market gap. We spoke to Natasha Oppenheim from Experients about the advantages of age and a multi-generational workforce.

“According to PWC, 74% of CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills such as soft skills (which are needed even more due to the rise in AI and automation) and loyalty given that recruiting is 63% more expensive than reskilling (Leena Nair, Unilever CHRO).  It is in these areas that older workers excel. Add to that the statistics showing that older workers improve retention, motivation, and decision making (Eric Larson, McKinsey, Mermin, Burmeister, Wang & Hirschi) and its clear they are a good fit for many of the skills gaps.

Combine this with the decrease in Europe’s working age population and resulting labour shortage. McKinsey states, ‘one logical place to start is getting more willing workers off the sidelines, focusing on demographic groups where there is room for growth, including workers over age 55’.

The benefits of a multi-generational workforce are dramatic. A D&I mix that includes gender and ethnicity out-performs in financial performance as a result of better decision making by 35% but when age is added in to the D&I mix, these multigenerational teams out-perform peers by 87% (McKinsey).

And the wider the age range, the better the decision-making performance. A team with a 25 year age range outperforms teams with little age range by 73% in decision making performance (Larson, Cloverpop)

One of the keys to attracting and retaining older workers is to offer flexibility. Older workers are likely to have care obligations, whether for their elderly parents, or their grandchildren, and are often keen to contribute part-time to their local community alongside their continued working career.”

Experients helps organisations to become Age-Positive workplaces. They offer industry leading specialist advisory and placement services which enables organisations to become truly multi-generational. Experients works across the D&I, HR, CSR and ESG functions helping individuals and businesses, in both the public and private sectors, realise the value of experience and unlock the advantage of Age. 

So how can you make sure you’re an attractive employer for older workers? As Natasha mentions, flexible working is key. Employers need to:

  • Make sure that job adverts are inclusive, offering a variety of flexible working options (such as remote working, reduced hours, staggered days, compressed hours, annualised contracts etc)
  • Train managers to be inclusive and consider hiring older workers on a flexible basis
  • Offer career development opportunities for older workers when they’re employed (rather than make assumptions about their capabilities or career plans)   
If you’re looking to change the world of work, you can join Natasha and 35+ inspiring speakers at Flexpo Business Digital Summit 30 June-1 July 

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