Keeping workers on the job
TO MAKE Australian workplaces supportive and productive environments for all employees, it has never been more important to engage mature-age workers and will only become more so.
When Australia’s Age Pension was introduced in 1909, only 4% of our population lived long enough to claim it.
Today, the average Australian is expected to live 15-20 years beyond the traditional retirement age of 65. By 2050 nearly a quarter of our population will be aged 65 and over.
Research has found that organisations can boost engagement among mature-age workers by adopting specific management practices targeting their needs.
Baby Boomers have an unprecedented opportunity to extend their working careers beyond the traditional retirement age.
As the largest and wealthiest older generation ever, their decision to retire depends largely on how much they are enjoying their work.
Researchers Carol Kulik, Sanjeewa Perera and Christina Cregan explain how management practices can engage mature-age workers.
■ Redesign jobs to accommodate physical needs: Giving a mature-age worker more control over when or how to do their work and eliminating or reassigning some physical components of a job.
■ Create opportunities to meet psychological needs: Cross-generational mentoring programs that enable a mature worker to share their experiences or upgrade their tech skills through their interaction with younger workers.
■ Be flexible in defining retirement: One way to support older workers’ needs is to offer job-sharing or phased retirement.
— Carol Kulik, The Conversation
SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT: Making some workplace adjustments can help keep mature-aged employees engaged in the workforce for longer.