As we age, we all want to maintain our independence wherever possible. For most of us, retirement sounds like a well-needed rest, but there are many older people who find that retirement is not what they imagined. As a result, our elderly loved ones may have the desire to return to work. Despite stereotypes, older workers are able to offer fantastic contributions to employers. Mature workers hold a wealth of experience, knowledge, and expertise that not many younger workers are able to compete with. Unfortunately, this is not reflected in the workplace. Older workers take up a significantly smaller percentage of the workforce than their younger colleagues, despite being the fastest growing age group of the population.
Biggest Challenge Facing Older Workers
We should always encourage our loved ones to continue or return to work if they want to. Age should not be a barrier when the potential employee is a suitable fit for the job. However, problems often occur during the recruitment process as there can be biases about older workers. It’s not just individual prejudice we need to fight either. In a study several years ago, around two-thirds of companies considered being older-aged as a disadvantage. On top of this, data further shows that two-thirds of individuals age 45- 74 have experienced age-related discrimination in the workplace. This really highlights the issue; such instances of discrimination can really knock someone’s confidence. Older workers on average also have more fear surrounding redundancy, as they are less likely to hired by another company. This is particularly worrying for those let go over 50 but before retirement age.
As time has gone on, people have needed to put off retirement for longer and longer. As a result, we naturally have more older people in the workforce. In the UK, there are more than 10 million people aged over 50 in work. Those returning to work after retirement face even more challenges. These people are more likely than the average worker to get a minimum wage job, as employers struggle to see longevity with the company. Many older workers have a great deal to offer potential employers and, with their wealth of experience, they deserve important and meaningful job roles. Interestingly, those over 40 are three times more likely to create successful companies compared to those younger.
Statistics on Older Workers:
- Many older workers are involuntarily working part-time because they struggle to find full-time employment.
- Older job seekers are using different methods to locate and apply for jobs
- Workers over 50 feel as though their age is a defining factor in the difficulty of getting a job
What Do Employers Gain?
There is a clear bias in the media to the value of an older worker. CEO and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, even said: “Younger people are smarter.” This has been proven time and time again not to be the case, but social media is clogged with suggestions that older workers are easily replaced with younger workers. So what’s in it for employers to hire workers over 50?
- Older workers are less likely to leave. They report higher job satisfaction and wellbeing than their younger counterparts.
- As time goes on, employers will need to become more reliant on older workers. As the boomer generation retires, there are not enough younger people to take their place.
- Older employees have a great deal of knowledge they can introduce to the company.
- Other employees often find having someone older in the workplace as extremely useful.
- By having a diverse employee base, the company is able to maximize innovation and creativity.
How to Help
We should try to do everything we can to help our older loved ones to get back into work if they want to. Everyone has a different level of ability, but we need to make sure our older workers have a baseline of skills that younger workers are almost certainly going to have. This means ensuring they are up to date with modern technology and have basic computer-literacy. On top of this, they need to be adaptable and willing to learn. Companies are always looking for different technologies to hold data or keep track of customer correspondence and our older workers need to be able to adapt when new technology is introduced.
One of the downfalls for older workers is how they apply for jobs. Most applications take place online now, so our loved ones need to be looking at websites like Indeed and LinkedIn for their job hunt. Some places won’t even take a physical CV anymore! If your loved one is looking for work, help them set up accounts on these websites as soon as possible. Companies receive many applications every day; if you can, try and help them make theirs unique.
Careline Alarm – Maintaining Independence
We all want to stay independent for as long as possible, particularly in our later years. A Careline365 alarm can help you do just that. Our Emergency Call Handlers are available 24/7 to assist your loved one and send them help when they need it most. For more information or to ask any questions, please feel free to call us on 0800 101 3333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and our Customer Service Team will be more than happy to help.
You can order your Careline alarm online today for next-working-day delivery.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 29th September 2021 to reflect current information.