Queen Elizabeth II is the world’s longest reigning monarch and at 90 years old, is still very much active within her role – and she is not alone, as people all over the world are now living longer, are healthier and more productive than ever before (Collie, 2015).
This advancement in demographics is therefore having a profound effect on the way people operate, as they have to adapt and challenge ageist stereotypes. There are many advantages to an older workforce for both the employee and employer, as our research below suggests. As employees are living longer, by providing all employees with the same level of training and opportunities, organizations will benefit from a diverse workforce and a larger skill set.
As Ropes (2015) discusses in this article - for an organization to remain successful, it must learn how to stimulate the older workforce, with learning and development for example, or risk losing competitive advantage.
Organizations must be flexible with the whole workforce in order to adapt in rapidly changing environments and be able to innovate to stay ahead.
Those who work past retirement age are thought to experience greater life expectancy, meaning an ageing workforce isn’t a problem but an asset. Learning can range from a formal experience to as informal as on-the-job, but the one thing to remember is that it is never too late to learn.
Did you know that 10% of workers are aged over 65, with 35% of them being self-employed due to ageism and ageist stereotypes (Collie, 2015)? As this research suggests, there is an increasing demand to breakdown these stereotypes, as modern generations are now experiencing an extra 10 years of healthy life expectancy.
This research highlights how older workers have skills and competencies often lacking in younger people. They can be more engaged, loyal and client focussed, with better social skills and so rather than disregard either younger or older workers, both need to be embraced.
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