Mature workers to change employers’ attitudes to productivity

The UK’s maturing workforce could finally persuade organisations to think seriously about workplace productivity, according to a leading expert on age.

Philip Taylor, executive director of the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Ageing, said the UK’s changing demographics might actually be good for the country.

He cited the example of Japan, which has the most aged population in the world. He said demographic changes had forced Japanese businesses to look at performance and ‘re-tooling’ older workers.

By 2025, more than 27% of the UK population will be aged 60 and above. This figure has been steadily increasing since 1991 when it stood at just under 21%.

“Employers need to focus a great deal more on job satisfaction for older workers. Job quality is often under emphasised and leaves people wanting to escape [work],” he said.

“We need to get this message across and use some simple HR interventions. One option is re-tooling older workers so they are still valuable to the organisation,” he said.

Taylor was talking at a roundtable discussion on age hosted by technology giant IBM last week.

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