Investment in mature aged workers positively impacts your business

| April 28, 2021

Imagine the following scenario:

You’ve completed a comprehensive review of employee turnover for the past 5 years and discovered that over half of all employees who left were mature age workers, with significant service and expertise.  All that intellectual and corporate knowledge… ‘out the door.’ A number said they were leaving due to a lack of flexible working arrangements and others mentioned they were no longer challenged in their roles. What could you have done differently to have retained these vital resources ?

Only two in every ten Australians seek any financial advice when planning for retirement…. much less spend anytime planning how they will spend their retirement years. And so, the risk is that they slip into retirement without a clear plan and purpose.

Given a lack of holistic retirement planning by mature age workers and the resultant costly decisions which impact retirees, help is needed to support them to plan effectively.

Employers have an enormous opportunity to tap into the knowledge, skills, experience and wisdom of mature age workers . By understanding what is important to mature age workers, providing flexible options and supporting them in this stage of life, organisations will benefit from increased productivity and a positive brand reputation. This approach will serve to support and augment Well-being and Employer of Choice strategies.

In 2015 Professionals Australia commissioned a Mature-Age Workers Survey (Age: 45 plus). The number one disincentive for mature aged workers remaining in the workforce was the ‘desire for better work life balance’ (30%). Conversely, the greatest incentive to remain in the workforce was the provision of ‘transition to retirement arrangements’ (42%). Therefore, if such *provisions existed, one could expect to see a rise in participation rates of mature age workers. This would save companies in recruitment costs and see a positive increase in productivity.

*Programs and initiatives worth incorporating into your strategic planning (well-being strategy):

  • Aspiring to a cultural position where ‘retirement intentions’discussions are normalised.
  • Offering‘phased retirement’working conditions (flexible days and hours of work).
  • Training matured aged workers to be‘mentors’ in the business.
  • Offering ‘retirement planning’ workshops to all employees aged 45 and over.
  • Initiating a ‘knowledge transfer’ program to capture intellectual knowledge prior to retirement.
  • Offering ‘retirement coaching’to support intentional planning for purposeful retirement

Organisations who support mature age workers, will see a return on investment in the following ways:

  • Increased engagement leading to higher productivity of mature age workers.
  • Increased participation rates beyond ‘normal’ retirement.
  • Job enrichment of both parties through mentoring interventions.
  • Retainment of intellectual capital through knowledge transfer processes.
  • Viewed as anEmployer of Choicedue to enhanced offering of flexible work arrangements.
  • Well-beingstrategy perceived as best practice and bolsters employee-employer social contract.
  • Succession/resource planning enhanced due to early awareness of retirement intentions.

Have you considered the potential productivity gains, increases in participation rates (in a resource scare environment) and the enhancement of your company as a great place to work?

Read more stories about Mature Workers on First 5000.