2: Healthy workplaces for all ages
What is age management?
refers to management of human resources with an explicit focus on the requiremens of an ageing workforce. is holistic, intergenerational and life-course oriented.
Proactive management of age-diverse workforces is good for both workers and organisations. The benefits of for workers include:
- Better motivation;
- Greater job satisfaction;
- Better work-life balance;
- Increased performance of all age groups; and
- Maintained and throughout the whole career.
The benefits and opportunities that offers to organisations are:
- Securing labour supply and anticipating skills/talent shortage;
- Avoiding the expensive loss of skills and experiences;
- Reduction in turnover and reduced costs for recruitment;
- Positive succession management when individuals do retire; and
- Taking full advantage of strengths and talents of different age groups, including tapping into the networks, expertise and experiences of mature workers.
The following figure presents the different elements of . Below you can find short descriptions on each of the elements as well as links to further information.
- Recruitment: Recruitment processes that focus on skills and experience, avoid age discrimination, and promote age diversity, bring many benefits to organisations. Read more.
- Knowledge transfer, training and life-long learning: Workers of all ages should have access to training and should be able to update their knowledge and skills. This is particularly relevant in the context of changing work practices and the introduction of new technologies. Read more.
- Career development: Career development should be seen in the context of the whole working life, ensuring a match between the job and the competences and capacities of the worker. Read more.
- Flexible working time practices: Flexible working time arrangements take into account the different needs of different age groups and help improve work-life balance. Read more.
- : Improving the work organisation and working environment, increasing workers' participation, and encouraging personal skills and professional development. Read more (next theme).
- Occupational safety and health management: Ensuring safety and health at work for workers of all ages through the implementation of age-sensitive risk assessments and adaptation of the workplace. Read more (OSH professional's module).
- Job rotation and redeployment: Job design techniques in which workers are moved between two or more jobs in a planned manner at regular intervals. Read more.
- Employment exit and the transition to retirement: Supporting older workers in the planning of retirement. Read more.
Understanding the age structure of the workforce
Organisations can monitor the age structure of their staff by carrying out an age structure analysis or age profiling. The aim of age structure analysis is to describe the current age composition of the staff as a basis for the implementation of future human resources policy measures. These measures are designed to ensure a well-balanced age structure and maintain the and of workers in all age groups in the long term, in order to preserve the company’s competitiveness.
The results of the analysis must be interpreted in relation to the work and its demands and in relation to HR and the health and safety policies of the organisation. The age structure analysis helps in recruitment planning or succession planning and knowledge transfer.
Competency assessment is a tool that can be used to identify gaps in the skills and competencies of workers for performance management or professional development, and provides a basis for planning of training and skill development activities.
The importance of cooperation
A comprehensive approach to requires cooperation between different stakeholders, such as occupational health services, workers and their representatives, and management. In particular, cooperation between OSH and HR management is important, as HR policies related to work–life balance, working time and career development have an impact on safety and health, in particular on the psychosocial working environment. Read more (OSH professional's module) about occupational safety and health management as part of .