Is your culture 'age-friendly'?

How well is your workplace tapping into the multigenerational workforce?

Is your culture 'age-friendly'?

A new report has found that 84% of employers believe they are age-friendly when it comes to the opportunities, work arrangements, as well as training and tools they offer to employees — but employees are not sharing the same views.

The report, Emerging From the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Employer's Perspective, found that only 65% of employees consider their organisations to be age-friendly.

It comes as four generations of workers make up the available talent pool for employers to choose from. Despite this, the survey from Transamerica Institute showed that while employers are embracing this multigenerational workforce, they have yet to address the opportunities that come along with it.

According to the report, only 34% of employers have formal diversity and inclusion policy statement that reference age, among other demographic statistics.

Majority of employers (92%) may be offering alternative work arrangements, revealed the survey, but only 60% allow flexible work schedules, 54% give employees the ability to adjust work hours as needed, while 51% offer the ability to work remotely.

In terms of caregiving benefits, 80% of employees are offering this type of perk, but upon the report's breakdown only 37% offer unpaid leave of absence, 31% offer paid leave of absence, while only 27% offer online resources or tools. In addition, only 23% offer counselling and referral services, while 22% offer referrals to backup care.

The report also showed that only 31% of employees have a phased retirement programme that have specific provisions and retirement, with the following work-related initiatives offered to help pre-retirees transition:

  • Flexible work schedules and arrangements (44%)
  • Reduced hours and shift from full-time to part-time (36%)
  • Ability to take on less or demanding jobs (34%)

Read more: Are your employees struggling with age diversity?

Catherine Collinson, chief executive officer and president of Transamerica Institute, said that addressing the benefit gaps to address concerns related to the multigenerational workforce help organisations support staff.

"Today, four generations in the workforce bring diverse skills, expertise, and life experiences to their jobs. Employers that implement best practices for a multigenerational workforce can potentially increase productivity while supporting the professional growth and work-life balance of their employees," said the CEO in a statement.

To further help employers, the report also included several recommendations to make workplaces become age-friendly, including:

  • Foster an age-friendly work environment and adopt diversity, equity, and inclusion business practices that include age among other demographic factors
  • Encourage lifelong learning opportunities
  • Offer pre-retirees greater level of assistance in planning their transition into retirement
  • Create opportunities for workers to phase into retirement

The report, which was from the Transamerica Institute and its Transamerica Centre for Retirement Studies, analysed the pandemic's effect on employers and their health and welfare benefits, retirement benefits, and business practices.

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