The importance of attracting older employees to the workforce is growing for employers.
Last year, the Government estimated that 14.5 million more jobs would be created by 2022, but only seven million young people are predicted to have entered the workplace by then. Now, speculation about the rights and availability of international workers after Brexit has drawn attention to the issue once again.
Atos are one of the employers that proactively encourage mature candidates to stay working within their businesses. Around a third of its 9,321 staff are aged between 50 and 64, and David Haley, senior vice president of Atos’ Business Transformation Services, says that they make great role models for younger staff. He says: “Experienced workers can teach important life skills to their younger counterparts. We often find they want to be valued, and ideally leave a legacy of knowledge and expertise to others which is a win-win.”
According to a recent Centre for Ageing Better study, older employees are just as productive as their younger colleagues. However, nearly half (46%) of mature individuals think their age is a disadvantage when applying for a job, and one in five think people see them as less capable due to their age.
Therefore, managers should look to introduce support networks for the over-50s. Atos’ age-based diversity group ‘Aeon’ helps recognise and stamp out age discrimination. It helps boost confidence among older workers; encourages learning; drives internal policy change; and builds engagement.
Atos also offers staff flexibility. Haley says: “Our initiatives are focused around flexible working and tailoring benefits to meet the needs of older workers. Practices such as flexi-time arrangements, career breaks and sabbaticals are of particular value to the older worker. They are key tool in older worker hiring and retention.”
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