2: Healthy workplaces for all ages
Recruitment, career development and redeployment
Good practice in recruitment means ensuring that older workers have equal access to the available jobs and that potential applicants are not discriminated against either directly or indirectly. By including age diversity in their recruitment strategy, organisations can take full advantage of the opportunities to select individuals with specific talents, experience and perspectives from diverse age groups. A workforce with a balance of youth and maturity (as well as gender and ethnicity) is best able to respond to the rapidly changing business environment and increased competition.
Age diversity in recruitment has the following benefits:
- Access to a larger talent pool: With recruitment and selection based on objective and merit-based criteria, organisations can tap a wider pool of candidates.
- Increased adaptability: In today’s global market, organisations with a diverse workforce will be better equipped to handle business challenges and changing economic conditions.
- Knowledge sharing: Interaction between people of different generations, backgrounds and experience facilitate knowledge sharing, further innovation and motivation.
- Better adaptability to a diversity of customers: particularly in relation to the needs of an ageing population.
Good practice in career development means providing workers of all ages, including older workers, with career development opportunities (not only hierarchical). Career development is closely linked to professional development, training and skills development, and in the best case, training and skill development are integrated into career planning. More information about training and skill development can be found here.
Career development and planning are of particular importance for jobs involving heavy physical or mental workload where workers might not be able to continue until the retirement age. Central to the career development of any worker is that they carry out work tasks that utilise their experience and knowledge.
Examples of how organisations can promote career development for older workers are:
- Development of specific policies and practices that promote career development of older workers. This could result in promotion, while in other cases it can result in a move to a different but appropriate job (redeployment). Both can be important to retaining older workers, and enhancing their motivation and performance.
- Provide opportunities to discuss career paths and career goals, and help motivate older workers to make plans for career changes. Matching these with the relevant skills training can help to plug skills gaps, while also retaining valued employees.
Job rotation and redeployment
Job rotation is a job design technique which allows workers to move between two or more jobs in a planned manner at regular intervals. Job rotation, if well planned, is beneficial both for workers and the organisation.
Objectives and/or benefits of job rotation include:
- Exposing workers to different experiences and a wider variety of skills to enhance job satisfaction and motivation, as well as productivity;
- Developing different skills and competencies, to cross-train workers and enhance their ;
- Facilitating succession planning;
- Reducing workloads and minimising the effects of stressful, monotonous or repetitive work tasks; and
- Reducing physical stress, strain, and fatigue to of a particular set of muscles and tendons, and consequently MSD incidents and severity.
Job rotation alone does not eliminate the risk factors present in the workplace; it only distributes the exposure to hazards more evenly across a larger group of people. It is important to remember that hazards and risks identified through a should be eliminated or minimised in the first place.
The following elements should be considered when developing a job rotation and redeployment programme:
- Linking job rotation and redeployment with safety and health management;
- Integrating job rotation in training and career development;
- Involving workers in the planning and development of job rotation programmes; and
- Providing training when necessary.