HR is not recognising the potential of older workers

The majority of HR focuses on retirement planning rather than helping over-50s to use their skills and expertise for the benefit of the business, according to research from Ashridge Executive Education.
Organisations are still failing to realise the potential of older workers, also called baby boomers, despite campaigns and research showing the benefits of employing multi-generational workforces, reports CIPD.
The survey of more than 2,000 workers over-50 years old, and HR staff working in organisations that employ older workers, found a significant mismatch between what baby boomers want from work and the way they are portrayed, managed, and valued within the organisation.
Older workers are ambitious, want challenging and fulfilling jobs and are hungry for continued growth and development, survey results showed.
However, just 1 per cent of HR staff felt older workers needed career development.
The focus for many HR professionals, and managers, was on developing younger generations, while training for older workers included retirement and financial planning.
Dr Carina Paine-Schofield, research fellow at Ashridge and co-author of the report, said there was a common misconception that older workers were hanging onto senior roles and blocking the next generation of talent coming through.
Just one in 10 older workers reported they got as much training as their younger colleagues.
Ashridge’s ‘Don’t Put Baby (boomers) in the Corner’ report suggests that generation Y and baby boomers were very similar in terms of what they want to get out of work.
It suggests that an individual and informal approach to career discussions, coaching and mentoring and exploring options for older workers to get involved in advisory roles or special projects, would help over 50s to maximise their contribution and continue to thrive at work.

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