The answer to that question is likely to be “no”. It may be that you’ve had an influx of bright, young things as new recruits or interns (see Leadership for the future: April issue) which has reduced the average age of your workforce but according to a BBC report almost half of adults in the UK will be aged over 50 by 2020.
We are told that older workers are needed to help the UK remedy the challenges of a future employment gap, yet in this time of economic recession older workers tell us that they believe they are often turned down because of their age. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has published a new free guide that urges employers to act now to prepare for and attract older workers to safeguard their long-term economic success. Organisations and businesses ignoring this issue now are likely to face skills shortages in the future when the economic climate (hopefully!) turns around.
The guide focuses on three steps to prepare your organisation for an ageing workforce; firstly building a business case, secondly, addressing issues of perception, and finally developing and/or refreshing your talent management strategy to include an approach to older workers. For example, building a business case which takes into account the shape of your workforce profile and the skills and knowledge required in a changing business environment together with a cost analysis of retaining older workers as against recruiting and training post school or university entrants, will be a vital first step. “Myth busting” will also be important – the stereotypical thinking, whether conscious or unconscious, about age and what people can and can’t do which influences the way managers in an organisation view older workers. The guide includes practical tips and recommendations. Here is the link below:-http://www.cipd.co.uk/binaries/5754ManagingageingworkforceWEB.pdf
Employers Forum on Age (EFA) also has a wealth of information to support employers in managing older workers. They have a series of guides and information. Again here is a link:- http://www.efa.org.uk/publications.php?action=search&category=8
Looking at the demographics it is inevitable that the UK workforce is, and will continue to age, so planning for these changes now is going to put your organisation in the stronger position to have the skilled and experienced workforce you need. If you want to talk through what that might look like, then please get in touch.