By 2030 the number of people over the age of 65 in the UK will increase by over 50%.
With over a third of the country’s workforce made up of the over 50s, it has become apparent that employers need to do more to support this age group in the workplace.
Many companies feel unprepared to deal with a growing number of older workers. Learning how to cater to their needs and support them within their roles is vital to avoid a critical skills gap.
To start with, we have compiled a few simple steps for you to take:
1. Promote age-positive recruitment
When hiring, ensure you don’t discriminate against older candidates. With people working longer into their life, there is a large group of highly skilled workers ready to add value to your business.
2. Provide appropriate support for health
As age increases, the number of people with health conditions rises. It is essential to provide support to enable employees to work safely and comfortably. Alongside this, offering life insurance, income protection and illness cover is highly beneficial to workers over 65. It gives a feeling of security, not having to worry about whether their age will affect their ability to work.
3. Ensure equal opportunities for progression
No matter what age, every employee should have the same opportunities to progress and develop within the company. Not providing an opportunity to someone based upon their age is counted as discrimination. If an older worker has the skills, knowledge and expertise to progress, why wouldn’t you give them a chance to?
4. Offer flexible working arrangements
Providing older staff with flexible working hours can significantly improve their work-life balance. They may have personal appointments to attend, may care for another person or may want to spend more time with their family and friends. Whatever the reason may be, offering a level of flexibility can lead to greater job satisfaction, lower levels of absence and a higher level of engagement.
Promoting an age-inclusive culture within your business has so many benefits to both the employer and your employees. It is not just the older staff members that will find this important, but the younger ones too. They will feel more positive about their futures if they see you supporting employees throughout the later stages of their career.
This may, in turn, lead to increased job satisfaction and lower turnover, promoting a happy, diverse and thriving workforce.