The Economist has put its considerable thinking power to the subject of the ageing worker. Interesting profile of the UK working population.
The UK retirement age is due to rise to 66 by 2020 and to 67 by 2028. At the same time the income from pensions has been under pressure (poor annuity returns and the demise of the final salary pension scheme).
Amazingly, some companies have realised that ‘Older customers want to be able to talk to people who look like them,” so says Barclays Bank. Small businesses and sectors such as health care and retail are particularly keen on employing older folk.'
The Economist reckons that: 'Those firms not already courting older workers will have to raise their game. By one estimate, if those in their 50s and 60s are not encouraged to stay in work longer, there could be 1m unfilled jobs in two decades’ time. Companies prepared to offer flexible hours and retraining will be best placed to take advantage of the untapped resource that older workers represent. Getting ahead will mean going grey.'
Now this is all very interesting but limited in its thinking.
Just in the same way as companies need to make their customer experience age-neutral, so they will have to eliminate the barriers that stops older workers from being able to function properly.
How do they do that? Well they could start by understanding the factors of physiological ageing that impact the worker experience. Who knows about this sort of stuff? Well you just happen to be engaging with the right person.
Image via flickr