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Whitehill Business Services Ltd >> news >> latest news >> Small Businesses Urged to Engage Older Workers

Small Businesses Urged to Engage Older Workers

Posted by on May 1, 2015

Recent research has suggested that employers should make a concerted effort to begin to engage their older workers when it comes to their career and their own personal development. If they fail to do so, they may risk out on this proven loyal group of employees.

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With the recent phasing out of retirement age, older workers are believed to account for a growing proportion of the UK’s working population.

Recent trends show that many people put off retirement, says a study from AXA PP.  It has also been found that, in this study, 15% of tomorrow’s would-be retirees (the over 50s) plan to work into their 70s and even beyond.

On the other hand, nearly a third of the working population over 50 at 30% say they feel they don’t have a career path. This is in comparison to a less pessimistic 13% of those under 50!

A large 33% of the working population under 50 view their career as progressive, compared with just under 15% of respondents in their 50s and above. Indeed, 23% of over-50s believe that their career path is winding down. All of this leaves one in four of the over-50s considering looking for a new job within the next couple of years.

Sales and marketing director at AXA PPP Healthcare, James Freeston, has 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-50 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.”

This particular study has also revealed that one in six over 50s feel as though their line manager supports them. Of this group, nearly half (49%) report 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," Freeston adds.

"By taking positive steps now to engage the UK’s ageing workforce, businesses will be better placed as they move into the future."