‘Age Wave’ is rolling in fast

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EM­PLOY­ERS are warned they need good at­trac­tion and re­ten­tion pro­grams to off­set the loom­ing skills short­age when ma­ture-age staff re­tire.

Hu­man re­source con­sul­tancy SPIRIT.3H. con­sul­tant Tony Gib­son says em­ploy­ers need to stop putting their heads in the sand and ad­dress the chang­ing needs of older work­ers.

‘‘ There has been a de­clin­ing birthrate for sev­eral decades and baby boomers are now reach­ing 65, liv­ing longer and in many cases stay­ing on in work,’’ Gib­son says.

‘‘ We there­fore face pos­si­bly one of the big­gest work­force chal­lenges of the 21st cen­tury, which we are call­ing the ‘ Age Wave’.

‘‘ The phe­nom­e­non of an age­ing pop­u­la­tion and de­clin­ing birthrates is global and un­prece­dented in hu­man his­tory.’’

Gib­son says em­ploy­ers need to look at their work­force to see how they can en­hance pro­duc­tiv­ity rather than look out­side the com­pany.

En­sur­ing staff stay with the com­pany, even in part-time roles, rather than re­tire or work for other em­ploy­ers is crit­i­cal.

Flex­i­ble work­ing con­di­tions and tran­si­tion plans to help work­ers move from full-time work to re­tire­ment over time are at­trac­tive to many older work­ers, Gib­son says.

He says em­ploy­ers need to re­think their lead­er­ship and or­gan­i­sa­tional cul­ture.

‘‘ The Age Wave is a re­al­ity re­quir­ing age-friendly and pro­duc­tive work­places,’’ he says.

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