New report urges organizations to get workforce ‘age-ready’

An organization that leverages its more experienced workforce — employees aged 50 years and older — will be well-positioned for the future of work, according to a new report by Mercer.

The importance of being “age-ready” is underscored for both businesses and economies, because of a rapidly aging labour force coupled with an uncertain global economic growth rate, it said.

“With labour force size, participation rate and productivity so closely tied to business and economic growth, the experienced workforce is a source of talent and competitive advantage that employers need to embrace now,” said Pat Milligan, senior partner and global leader of Mercer’s multinational client group. “To be ‘age-ready,’ however, requires a thoughtful and careful analysis of this workforce segment, as well as a change in mindset as to how experienced workers truly add value to organizations.”

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Experienced workers are particularly valuable to employers for a variety of reasons, including:

  • They lower costs because they’re less likely to leave;
  • As supervisors, they tend to retain, develop and engage more junior employees and decrease voluntary leave on teams they manage;
  • They increase productivity of those around them through knowledge sharing;
  • They strengthen group cohesion, collaboration and resiliency; and
  • They enable innovation and strengthen customer connection.

“This urgency for employers to address their experienced worker strategy is heightened by global demographic trends: by 2040 the average life expectancy is predicted to be 80 years, up from 56 in 1966 and 72 in 2016,” noted the report.

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