Being an age-inclusive employer will allow you to reap the benefits that older workers present. Alongside years of experience, older workers present strong work ethics, a vast range of knowledge and a high level of loyalty and commitment.
Employing these individuals in your business is recognised as a competitive advantage due to the diversity and performance gains it provides.
In order to continually attract these candidates, it is essential to be an age-inclusive employer. To assist you with this, we have compiled 4 simple steps to get you on your way.
Provide Opportunities for Flexible Working
Flexible working can be beneficial for all workers, especially in the current climate. However, for older workers, it provides the opportunity to gain more control over their work-life balance, giving more time for personal commitments. These may include attending health appointments, caring responsibilities or family commitments.
Offering opportunities like these lead to more engaged and satisfied employees who are likely to stay working with your business for longer. It will also increase productivity and motivation as they feel supported in the workplace.
Ensure Their Health is Supported
For older workers, health is one of the biggest reasons why some leave work early. Although not limited to, as we get older, we are more likely to develop a health condition. This means that it is essential to have support in place for any employees who may need it.
By creating an open culture around the topic of health at work, employees will feel more comfortable speaking out about any concerns they may have. As an employer, you should then provide suitable adjustments or arrangements that can help employees manage their condition at work.
Many older job seekers feel they would be at a disadvantage when applying for a job because of their age. Therefore when recruiting for a role, it is vital to try and eliminate any unconscious age bias in your application process. This can include using age-neutral language and imagery and asking for qualifications such as GCSEs and A levels that might turn away older candidates.
Create an Age-Positive Culture
Alongside recruiting age-positively, it is crucial to foster an age-friendly workplace. This can be created by equipping managers with the right tools and practices to support older workers. This may include how to respond to any age-related issues, how to challenge age stereotypes and how to adapt job responsibilities around an individual’s needs.
It is important to have strong lines of communication between younger and older workers, to form robust relationships that will result in harmonious and productive working.
Alongside this, older workers must be given the exact same opportunities as younger workers. This includes access to training, opportunities of progression and more. Just because they may be slightly older, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to progress and be successful within the business.
There are a number of signs to watch out for as a way of preventing age discrimination in your workplace.
Most age discrimination goes unreported, making it more difficult to eliminate. Inclusive and diverse employers should be welcoming and supportive of workers of all ages. Signs suggestive of age discrimination at work include:
- Hearing age-related comments or insults;
- Recruitment managers developing a pattern of hiring only younger employees;
- Older employees being overlook for challenging assignments or tasks;
- Isolating and excluding older workers; and
- Older workers facing unfair discipline or harsher criticism