Supporting mature workers and working par
ents in the workplace is imperative for com
pany success, according to Gareth Bennett,
HR director at law firm, Freehills.
Speaking at a recent round table discus
sion on what has been coined “the triple-deck
er sandwich challenge”, Bennett emphasised
the need for companies to recognise and ac
commodate those employees who have mul
tiple levels of carer responsibilities.
“This topic moves away from it being a
‘nice thing to do’ and ‘the right thing to do’,”
said Bennett. “It is the only thing to do from
a commercial perspective.”
Facilitated by the NSW Equal Employ
ment Opportunity Practitioners’ Association
(NEEOPA), the panel of experts at the round
table discussed how to deal with the in
creasing number of workers who find them
selves supporting their children, grandchil
dren and their ageing parents – thus
providing care-giving to three generations
Because of the trend of mature workers
working longer, the panel heard that employ
ers will need to develop strategies to support
this demographic of workers.
“Given that mature workers represent a third
of our total workforce, employers need to un
derstand and connect with this generation and
support them to be able to work longer” said
Alison Monroe, Director of SageCo.
Monroe also talked about how companies often have very innovative retention strategies but very often these strategies do not promote diversity and inclusion. She suggested that companies should analyse their retention strategies and ask themselves whether the goal of the strategy is to retain everybody within the organisation and not just certain groups.
“When developing HR initiatives and processes to attract, recruit and retain employees, it is worth taking a look through the ‘diversity lens,’” said Monroe. “With an increasingly blended workforce across the diversity spectrum, it is essential to ensure inclusiveness for all so as not to miss out on the talent pool of the future.”
Some of the top strategies the panel sug
gested were: introduce a working parents
program, enhance flexible work options
across all stages of the life course and in
crease the attraction, engagement and re
tention of mature workers
Monroe provided a further 3 top tips for reviewing HR initiatives through the diversity lens:
1. Review your job ads and careers website to ensure they reflect inclusive language and imagery – and are not alienating a particular group
2. Take stock of your testing, assessment and selection processes – mature workers and parents returning to the workforce may be going through this for the first time in a long time, so don’t set them up to fail!
3. Team building and staff events – boot camps and rock climbing may be fantastic fun but will they exclude certain groups from participating?