It’s Age Inclusivity Month and we’re talking about barriers, benefits and great ideas for bringing people of mixed ages together in the workplace.
We've discovered that when you dig down into the way we think about employees across the age spectrum, then there as many myths as there is good advice. We’re going to take the time to shoot down some of the untruths. Dive in!
How to be age-inclusive at work
1) Myth: Some employers think older staff are more likely to be off work ill.
Fact: Research shows sickness absence rates are broadly similar across all age groups. In fact, based on a small sample, younger workers are about twice as likely to have a sick day compared to their older colleagues. A 2015 survey showed around 25% of the over-50s they asked took time off for ill-health in the previous 12 months. By comparison, about half of those aged 20 to 29 did so. It’s true that older workers may need to take time away from the office to manage caring responsibilities or medical requirements, but a good employer will offer appropriate support so this is managed well. And these thoughtful employers get loyalty, hard work and experience in return.
2) Myth: People working longer in their lives blocks young people getting a job
Fact: There is no evidence for this. Forecasts suggest more older staff will be needed to stay in work.The nature of work is changing and skills will be needed in the core professions that keep our economy growing. The change in retirement age hasn’t had a strong impact on the number of entry-level positions available. In fact, the knowledge older persons bring to the table helps drive a business and create opportunities for new jobs to be created for the next generation. On the other side, younger staff coming in bring new perspectives and insights to a company’s consumer base. No one side is blocking the other, we’re all working together.
3) Myth: Age inclusivity is just about older people.
Fact: It’s not. It’s about everyone. Whether you’re 20 or 120 the business case is for being an age-friendly employer quite simple. Society is not homogenous. Most organisations recognise the value of having a diverse workforce, bringing together different life experiences, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations and thinking styles. Age is no different.
The age gap between staff can now be 50 years or more, and the UK’s best employers are adapting to these changes with new and innovative ideas. If you’re interested in looking past the same old jobsearch to find your next great employer, search with us. Thousands of professional jobs are currently available in our job search database. Try today.