New research shows older workers bring distinct benefits to the workplace and that UK employers are missing a trick by not exploiting latent talent within their ranks.
The research among 15,000 UK workers reveals that mature workers are more likely to be flexible and easier to manage than their younger counterparts. An in-depth analysis of working styles showed that older workers are generally more willing to take on new tasks and accept more varied roles than their younger counterparts. Other positives included older workers being happier to work on their own and being more likely to volunteer to take a leading role, without the need for much guidance.
Workers over 50 were generally found to have a high level of social confidence and a greater preference to build successful and supportive working relationships with colleagues, clients and suppliers. Those in their 50s and 60s were found to be less achievement-orientated than their younger colleagues.
Steve O’Dell, chief executive of Talent Q, the company which conducted the survey, said:“ Our study defies the common stereotype of older workers who are unwilling to accommodate change and may therefore be unresponsive to new challenges presented in the workplace.
“Talent Q found that those of more advanced years are less preoccupied about climbing the career ladder and that they tend to be more happy, fulfilled and confident. As a result, they are glad to take on new work or projects, and aren’t unduly phased by lots of changes. They tend to plough on regardless – a fact that employers are quickly discovering can be a real benefit to their business.”
Staring at the numbers
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