With over a quarter of the population in Australia over 55 years of age we really need to acknowledge the benefits that older Australians can add to the workforce. Read more here:
While in some cultures older people are highly respected and admired for their experience and knowledge, this is not as evident in Australia, where unfortunately ageism can continue to exist.
With over a quarter of the population in Australia over 55 years of age (www.statista.com/statistics/608088/australia-age-distribution/) we really need to acknowledge the benefits that older Australians can add to the workforce.
Figures show that when older Australians lose their jobs, they will often remain unemployed for longer than their younger counterparts. This is in part due to a reluctance of some in the business world to hiring over 55’s. However, as businesses are slowly realising, employing older people can bring many benefits. Here we look at some of those:
Loyalty and stability
An advantage of hiring older employees is their sense of loyalty, relative to younger employees.
This can benefit business in several ways.
Firstly, loyal workers are less likely to leave their roles, meaning they save the expense and hassle of hiring and training replacements. Filling roles after those that job hop can mean advertising, hiring and training workplace positions over and over again.
Older employees tend to value their job security and therefore stay in their jobs for longer, bringing more stability (and lower costs) to a business and team. They can be more settled and less likely to change jobs on a regular basis.
They are also often very committed to a business’s success, and the hard work needed to achieve that.
Knowledge, skills and experience
Workers who have been in the workforce for several decades have often honed their knowledge and skills in many areas, but particularly their “soft skills” in communications and relationships. Their years of experience can also lead to effective decision making and problem solving, and a balanced sense of self-confidence. Their working experience can often lead to less training and more work autonomy.
More experienced workers can play a valuable role in providing assistance and development to younger staff in the workplace. Informal mentoring and learning can be an amazing asset to workplaces with older staff. With more life and industry experience, older employees are great mentors to the less experienced and/or younger employees. This mentoring often includes problem solving, decision making, team work, handling emotional challenging issues, conflict resolution and more.
Older employees can bring diversity and often ‘fresh’ ideas to the workplace.
They often draw upon learned life experiences and can bring a resilience due to their stage of life. While those in the earlier life stages can be going through many of life’s early hurdles and changes, older employees can provide perspective from their own experiences.
They will often bring balanced and realistic expectations about the workplace, people and life in general – and can share their views and experience in a collaborative way.
This can lead to shared learning and better decision making, with each generation learning and earning mutual understanding and respect.
Generally speaking, more experienced workers can be positive, proactive, practical and very productive – and they can bring an overall great attitude and work ethic to the workplace!