Granny is driving an Uber . . . Un-retirement has arrived
Its hard to imagine when you send for an Uber that when your driver arrives they actually are in their ‘retirement age’!! Sounds and looks shocking but actually its here and its becoming a fast reality of the workforce today!
The over 50s form a quarter of all workers; by 2020 the figure will rise to one third. During the next decade over 13 million job vacancies will become available, but there will only be seven million job leavers to take up those roles; older workers will be key to plugging the skills shortage. Evidence suggests that many older workers are planning to work beyond conventional retirement age, but organisations are lagging behind in their preparations for the demographic changes happening now.
Older workers are an untapped resource of skills and experience for business-far from blocking careers of younger workers the evidence is that they are a safe pair of hands and career enablers for younger generations. In the next decade, those joining the job market will not be able to fill all the job vacancies created, so smart businesses are seeking ways to retain older workers to keep ahead of their competitors.
Whether you are a corporate giant or a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) older workers are likely to be an important feature of your workforce if not now then in the very near future. Evidence shows that business is lacking a coherent approach to this demographic change and missing out on a pool of talent and a business opportunity – Enter . . . . . . . . .Un-retirement.
Un-retirement will inevitably start to become a trend, a solution, a common work practice. Un-retirement has the ability to help organisations find and retain great talent. It has the potential to keep workers engaged and excited about their contributions.
Our 7 point plan to manage and attract Un-retirement:
- Recruiting: Having a contingent workforce is a must. Un-retirement provides organisations with access to a new labour source. These are individuals who don’t want to work full-time but do find occasional work a nice option.
- Age Friendly Workplace: Counter ageism/age stereotypes, it could hamper retention and rehiring progress. Use positive messages/actions underpinned by evidence of good practice relevant to your business. Reinforce the positive role and contribution of older workers and this can have a greater impact on your overall employee engagement.
- Workplace wellbeing and return to work programmes: Sickness absence costs UK organisations £29 billion annually. Older workers are no less likely to take sickness absence, but are likely to take longer to get back to work than younger colleagues once they are absent
- Employee Engagement: While people do work to support themselves, they also work for the sense of fulfilment. In fact, many workers are staying in the workplace longer because they simply like working and enjoy the buzz and the interaction with people.
- Knowledge Management: Retaining workers, even in a part-time or contingent status, allows the organisation to retain knowledge. Organisational history, information about processes, and background about key clients is essential to the business. The creation of short peer based training program as a means to pass along skills and knowledge could be invaluable – and if they do retire see if they’re willing to stop by once a month to be lunch and learn speaker
- Flexibility: attracting someone to return to work has to be attractive for both parties, for the organisation an age diverse workforce, including older workers, is an asset and for those in question they must see that a work life balance is essential.
- Phased retirement planning: Pew Research says that 10,000 people each day turn retirement age. For organisations concerned about a large number of employees leaving the workforce, allowing employees to openly discuss an exit strategy could be advantageous.
So we know there are clear advantages to having an un-retired workforce but as the retiring age population returns to work there is also an uptake for those in their 50s (sometimes their 40s) who are quitting their full-time jobs to purse early semi-retirement. Could this become a trend also? Those that want to step away from a career path to design a more flexible lifestyle, a mix of earned income part-time, volunteering, small ventures and enterprises, diversifying their job, travelling, spending more time with friends and family and, yes, fun. Their thinking: Why wait until 65 or 70 to make the leap.
The workforce is certainly complex and there are no rules anymore into the composition of it.