What Does 2015 Hold for the 50+ Workers?


I've been concerned for a long time that we are putting so much of our valuable experience out to 'pasture' by letting our older workers go. Yes an organisation can possibly employ two youngsters for the price of one older worker - but apart from their tech savvy, what else do younger workers actually bring to the team in their early days as employees?

In the UK alone the total number of non-working people aged 50 to 64 is now 3.3 million — a third of the age group. Yet according to The Equality and Human Rights Commission the majority of workers over 50 (62 per cent of women and 59 per cent of men) want to continue working beyond state pension age.

They go on to say that:

  • More than twice as many (11%) want promotion v downshifting (4 per cent)
  • 62% describe themselves as feeling as fit as ever
  • 44 per cent of 56-59 year-olds and a third of 60-64 year-olds have undertaken training in the past three years
  • 25% of 56-59 year-olds and 9% of 70-75 year-olds are still supporting their children financially

So why hire (or hold onto) your over 50s?

·      Experience. The CEO of Tofutti (where 1/3 of their workers are over 50) says that ‘more experience yields a smoother, more efficient operation, not to mention less risk of liability for employers.

·      Loyalty. The one guarantee that older workers can often ensure is proven loyalty. The easiest way to determine this is by looking at their resume -- the more years they've stayed with a company, the more loyal it's often presumed they are.

·         Stability. With proven loyalty comes many other perks as well. An older, loyal worker who will stay with your business longer can help to maintain stability.

·    Avoiding age discrimination. Hiring an older worker strictly to avoid a discrimination suit obviously isn't the way to go. But if an older worker is indeed the best fit for your company, you'll not only get a more experienced employee, but you also (likely) won't be sued.

·      They won't be as distracted by social media. As useful and prevalent as it may be, social media can also be very distracting, especially for younger workers who can't seem to put down their smartphones.

Full article here

So before you rush to make your older workers redundant, think about:

  • The cost of losing 20-30 years of business savvy
  • The cost of training the new young things
  • The mistakes they will make while under training and the cost of those mistakes
  • How effective the youngsters will be when dealing with customers and suppliers v an older worker
  • The damage to your reputation when your customers can’t find anyone to talk to who know what they are actually talking about!


Ann Andrews CSP Dip Bus (Pmer)

MD The Corporate Toolbox  


Ann Andrews CSP specialises in working with high performing teams and showing managers how to deal with poor performance.

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