Concerns over employee engagement among over-55s

Thursday 29 November 2012

Older workers

Older UK employees are increasingly disengaged from their work, having lost faith in their manager, it has been claimed.

Although hyphen has reported an overall rise in British workplace pride, with 46.3 per cent of employees proud to work for their organisations, older workers appear less motivated than others.

Overall 65 per cent of survey respondents said their manager allows them to do their job, although this figure drops to 63.1 per cent among the over-55s.

This figure is down from 74.9 per cent when last questioned in the summer.

Their sense of worth has also taken a hit with just 73.1 per cent of older workers believing their organisation seeks their opinion and listens to their views, down from 79.4 per cent three months ago.

Concerns about engagement

Zain Wadee, managing director at hyphen, said that although pride in the workplace seems to have increased slightly since its low over the summer, it is "concerning" that older workers seem to be feeling the strain.

“While focus at this time of year for organisations does tend to be on younger employees joining through graduate recruitment schemes or similar programmes, it is essential that organisations’ HR focus does not neglect their older talent," he stated.

“October marked the end of the enforced retirement age and many organisations now have a growing older workforce with talent and experience that can be tapped into and passed down to younger employees."

Mr Wadee claimed that engagement is "a business imperative at all ages".

"It is important that employers adopt an approach towards training and development that inspires and engages all spectrums of their workforce," he stated.

Over-55s still have much to offer

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, over 55s still have an important role to play in UK business.

Dianah Worman, diversity adviser at the HR body, said organisations that respond appropriately to the challenges of an ageing workforce will gain "a significant competitive edge".

This is in terms of recruiting and retaining talent, but also through supporting the wellbeing and engagement of employees of all ages, she stated.

"The business case for older workers is strong," Ms Worman claimed

"Research shows their impact and experience within the organisation enables better customer service, enhanced knowledge retention and can help to address talent and skills shortages."

Posted by Sarah Parish