How Businesses Keep An Older Workforce Involved

How Businesses Keep An Older Workforce Involved
The Siliconreview
14 Decemebr, 2020

Most people dedicate four to five decades of their life working, starting either in their late teens or early twenties and carrying on until retirement in their 60s. Despite this, a lot of businesses seem to treat their employees as though they’re all the same age. That can be problematic, seeing as how someone who’s 30 might find certain things easier than a colleague who’s 50.

Thankfully, while plenty of companies haven’t quite mastered catering to an older workforce, there are some out there who do right by their staff, no matter their age. These are the techniques they’re incorporating to make that possible.

Equal Opportunist

Looking for work can be a struggle at any age. However, it can be particularly difficult for those close to retirement age for one very good reason. Although these workers generally have a lot of great experience, they’re sometimes considered a liability because they typically have more ailments than younger employees. Some companies become afraid of premiums skyrocketing as a result of this, and so they overlook older people in favour of fresh talent. That’s a mistake businesses shouldn’t be making, especially when we have an ageing population. The experience of an older workforce can be just as beneficial as the innovative ideas of the next generation, which is why the best companies are always equal opportunist during the hiring process and beyond.

Remote Working Options

We live in a time when flexible working is quickly becoming the most preferred way for people to do their jobs. There are plenty of reasons why employees want to avoid the standard 9-5 structure, especially for those in the older workforce. When you start nearing retirement, you might find such a schedule too taxing. What’s more, you may prefer to save yourself some effort by working from home, rather than going into the office every day. Although plenty of older employees are perfectly happy with how things are, it’s in a company’s best interests to find out what works best for their staff. Offering flexible solutions that benefit both the worker and the business is ideal, and this can be achieved through one-to-one meetings.

Efficient Tech Training

While many older workers have adapted to all the technological demands of today, some still struggle with things outside of the basics. The best businesses are the ones who acknowledge that and provide resources and training on anything that may be considered complicated or might put the computer at risk. They also conduct themselves appropriately if anything bad does happen, advising the employee on how to avoid future mistakes rather than lashing out. Stuff goes wrong all the time with computers, whether the user’s to blame or not, so as long as there's access to exceptional IT support, it shouldn’t be too big of a problem. Companies like L.I.T Solutions can provide that for any small to medium-sized company who require help from experts in the business IT support field.

Open Communication

Those one-to-one meetings mentioned before are actually essential for accommodating an ageing workforce, regardless of their work schedule. A company should be committed to learning about its staff and ensuring that everyone feels fulfilled in their job. However, this is particularly important for older employees as it is common for them to feel overlooked. Businesses don’t always give as much attention to these staff members because they're sometimes considered less valuable than their younger colleagues. This is especially problematic for relatively new workers who haven’t earned the respect people often receive when they’ve been around for 10-20 years. With one-to-one meetings, any such concerns can be discussed and resolved in a confidential space, allowing the business to do better by its older workforce.

Changes To The Office

Even when remote working is an option, some older employees still prefer to stay in the office. After all, it gives them somewhere to go every day where they get to socialise with others and feel like they’re part of a team. However, if an older workforce intends to do this, it’s vital that the office caters to their needs. Sitting at a desk for hours on end isn’t good for anyone, and it only becomes more problematic with age. Companies would do well to invest in more ergonomic chairs, or to find ways for employees to work that doesn’t put so much strain on their eyes or wrists or back. There are usually a lot of small things that can be improved upon to make age-friendly offices that boost the comfort and wellbeing of those closer to retirement age.

While there might be plenty of fresh, young talent looking to make their mark on businesses, the ageing workforce isn’t going anywhere. It’s important that both groups are catered to in their jobs so that everyone can be as productive and feel as fulfilled as possible.