The Benefits of Older Workers

 

The Benefits of Older Workers

 

Most people are unaware of the benefits of older workers. It’s not because they are secret. It’s because the benefits of older workers don’t grab headlines so we don’t hear about them.

 

In this post we highlight the five key benefits of older workers. Recruiting an older person could have significant benefit to your business.

 

1.       Older workers are more loyal

 

Loyalty is one of the main benefits of older workers. A study by the CIPD found that over 55s were three times less likely to be looking to change jobs than 18-24 year olds1. This is a material saving for companies. By increasing retention of older workers Centrica (owners of British Gas) saved £2 million in annual recruitment costs. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme similarly saved 6.5% of their staff recruitment costs by improving retention.

 

The disruptive effects of staff turnover on are well understood. This is especially true for SMEs where there a fewer resources to rely on. Having loyal older workers help a business operate smoothly and consistently over the long term.

 

2.       Older workers have a better work ethic

 

A Pew study of intergenerational attitudes 75% of respondents said that older people do have a better work ethic2. This shows itself through producing more work, being prompt, being well presented and many other facets.

 

Due to all of their experience older workers know how to work effectively and take pride in delivering high quality output.

 

3.       Older workers are motivated and dedicated

 

Many older people return to work after retirement because they enjoy the challenge and the social interaction provided by meaningful work.

 

A Pew study found that only 17% of older workers work “just for money” compared to 49% of 16-64 year olds. 54% of workers over 64 work because they “want to work”3.

 

Imagine never having to worry about motivating your workforce. Imagine your staff coming to work because they want to be there. Imagine your staff working because of the challenge, not for the pay cheque. Doesn’t that sound appealing?

 

4.       Older workers care about customers

 

A study by McDonalds and the University of Lancaster found that customer satisfaction at restaurants with at least one worker over 60 was 20% higher than those restaurants with workers only under 50. The study found that restaurants with the highest mean age had the highest customer satisfaction4. Another study by McDonalds found that 84% of those surveyed wanted to see multigenerational teams and 60% felt they would get better service as a result5.

 

This clearly demonstrates that if you have a customer facing teams you need to consider the age range of your staff. Your team - and your customers - could benefit from your having older workers.

 

5.       Older workers are tech savvy

 

It is a myth that older workers cannot use technology.

 

Many older workers’ careers have spanned the development of computers and they have learnt to adapt quickly to changes7. In fact, a study by Cisco found no correlation between age and confidence in using technology at work. Type of work and level of seniority are much better predictors of confidence8.

 

This is a common misconception that gets in the way of recruiting older workers. Actually, having seen the development of technology is one of the main benefits of older workers. They have vital perspectives that are invaluable amongst the hype of new technology.

 

6.       And finally, older workers are better entrepreneurs

 

A study by the Progressive Policy Think Tank found that in the digital sector, 70% of start-ups founded by older workers lasted longer than three years, compared to only 28% of those created by younger entrepreneurs9.

 

The combination of technical skills and career experience combine to produce superior business people. Superior business people you could have on your team.

 


Sources

1.        https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/megatrends_2013-job-turnover-slowed-down_tcm18-11402.pdf

2.        http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2010/02/24/millennials-confident-connected-open-to-change/

3.        http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2009/09/03/recession-turns-a-graying-office-grayer/

4.        http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/news-archive/BE8CC3DC5B5D9A3880257619003619DE.php

5.        http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/content/dam/McDonaldsUK/press_release/McDonald's%20Bridging%20the%20Generation%20Gap%20exec%20summary.pdf

6.        https://age.bitc.org.uk/sites/default/files/age_myth-busting_factsheet.pdf

7.        https://www.diseco.com/blog/more-companies-are-hiring-older-workers

8.        https://emear.thecisconetwork.com/media/file-20160607213123-1220.pdf

9.       https://www.ippr.org/files/publications/pdf/silver-cities_Dec2014.pdf

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