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Monday, February 17, 2014

Making the workplace age-friendly - a necessity not an option


The FT recently had an article entitled: "Germany woos older workers as supply of young employees dries up."

You can see from the graph that the retention rate of workers aged  60+ has been climbing in Germany. 

We know that the countries in southern Europe have horrible youth unemployment but in Germany companies are desperately trying to hold on to older workers.

“German companies are facing a labour shortage. It is difficult for them to get competent, highly skilled employees,” said a professor of strategic management at Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. “One way to compensate is to extend the lifetime of their employees.”

The outcome is German employers are under pressure to offer a better work-life balance to retain older employees.

Just in the same way that companies need to respond to the physiological ageing of their customers it is necessary for employers to do the same thing with the workforce.

Deutsche Bahn struck a deal with the railway union last year, offering part-time work to older employees in some of the hardest-to-fill parts of the business, including shift workers and those on call. The company has also made other changes to reflect its older workforce, such as more lifting gear to move heavy parts and ergonomic chairs that provide extra back support.

The AF Audit tool that I developed with Kim Walker can just as easily be applied to auditing all of the 'touchpoints' between the worker and the company. German companies would appear to be in desperate need of such a tool.

This symmetry between consumer and worker is fascinating.

Sorry I cannot link to the article, it is behind a paywall.  Dick Stroud

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