The company set up a task force to develop a culture of equality that would strongly be based on a mentoring programme. With the promotion of equality among workers, the mentoring scheme ensured that the transfer of knowledge helped younger workers to value the experience of their older colleagues. Workers of all ages and levels were therefore included and encouraged to share all knowledge including ‘tacit knowledge’ acquired from long term experience. Everyone involved in the mentoring checked-in regularly with management to make sure the programme met expectations. The open communication was especially important in improving worker morale and appreciation for each others’ skills and roles.
Thanks to this scheme, older workers reported improved confidence with younger colleagues and more understanding of why tasks were sometimes assigned based on physical capacity. Crucially, the introduction of flexible working time for over-55s did not create a negative working atmosphere. Younger workers felt they learned useful skills from their older colleagues, which made them more efficient and gave them a better work-life balance. The skills improvement in the company resulted in increased internal mobility (changes in job roles and responsibilities), improved the retention of workers and ensured continuity in production operations.