Article by Ceri Wheeldon
With more than 7 million employees over the age of 50 in the UK, and with the country as a whole having to come to terms with an ageing population and extended retirement ages, employers have to recognise the value employees over 50 can bring to the workplace.
I have run my own business for nearly 30 years so can essentially decide how long I continue to work,but have many friends in corporate life who feel they are being ‘aged out’- despite the default retirement age having been scrapped a decade ago. I know that many of the readers of Fab after Fifty have raised concerns about perceived ageism in the recruitment process when they have been seeking new roles.
I feel this is so short sighted. There is a wealth of experience that older workers are able to bring to the table. At 50 an individual may have as many working years ahead of them as behind them. Being overlooked by employers is not only detrimental to the individuals, but also detrimental to the organisations they can deliver so much benefit to.
Here are are just some of the reasons I believe that older workers make great employees
Why older workers make great employees
- They bring maturity and confidence
- They tend to be less ‘flappable’ and react well in a crisis
- They offer a wealth of skills and experience
- They make excellent mentors
- They are used to multi-tasking and hence have strong organisational skills
- They have excellent people skills and are able to communicate across the generations
- They are reliable and motivated to work
- They tend not to take as many ‘ad hoc’ days away from work
- They can take their holidays outside of the peak school holiday period
- They stay in their jobs longer so reduce recruitment costs and create more continuity
- They are loyal to their employer
- Less absenteeism
- They are more open to flexible working
With the shift in demographics – older workers provide employers with a productive and positive solution.
If employers appreciate and invest in mature employees with programmes such as the Midlife MOT it is a win win situation. Employees feel appreciated and understand what they need to do to ensure they keep their skills up to date, and the changes they need to make to live a healthier lifestyle, and employers retain motivated, engaged employees.
I’m sure there are many more positives to highlight ! Please add to the list!!