Employers need to make more of an effort to engage their older workers when it comes to their career and personal development. Otherwise, they risk losing out on a loyal group of employee’s wealth of experience and industry knowledge, AXA PPP healthcare says.

With the default retirement age being phased out, older workers will account for a growing proportion of the UK’s working population. Research from AXA has found that 15 percent of employees over 50 plan to work into their 70s or older.

Despite this, nearly a third (30%) of over 50s say they don’t feel like they have a career path, compared with 13 percent of those under 50. Only 15 percent of older workers say they have discussed their career with their line manager, compared with twice this number (29%) of under 50s. A third (33%) of under 50s viewed their career as progressing, compared to only 12 percent aged 50 plus.

One in four over 50s are considering looking for a new job as it is revealed 23 percent feel their career is slowing down.

James Freeston, sales and marketing director at AXA PPP healthcare, says:

“It’s crucial for employers to have positive, constructive career discussions with all employees. Our research suggests that this is dropping-off for the over fifty age group and, as such, employers risk leaving this important segment of their workforce feeling under-appreciated and marginalised.

“By maintaining a positive relationship with older workers, not only are employers more likely to keep them fully engaged in their roles, they can make the most of their experience and knowledge – ensuring they remain valued, motivated and productive throughout their working lives.”

Only one in six respondents over 50 feel their line manager supports them and almost half (49%) say they report to a younger line manager.

Freeston continues:

“Older workers’ loyalty and experience can be an invaluable asset that employers can harness to the benefit of the whole business. Bringing older and younger workers together through the likes of mentoring programmes, for example, can promote knowledge-sharing across the ages,

“By Taking positive steps now to engage the UK’s ageing workforce, businesses will be better placed as they move into the future.”





Amie Filcher is an editorial assistant at HRreview.