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The senior working life of the future
Retaining seniors in the job market is about understanding diversity. If you want to succeed in making more of your older colleagues stay longer in the labor market, you have to acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but that it is another gear to turn to when it comes to the elderly.
51% plan to leave their jobs prematurely
In the research project SeniorArbejdsLiv, they shed light on what makes older people leave the labor market prematurely. Here, 51% have indicated that they plan to leave their jobs before retirement age, 30% on time and 19% stay longer. The majority explain and that they wish they could stay longer, but the hard physical work puts an end to it. So what does it take for us not to say goodbye to our older colleagues until absolutely necessary?
Mitarbejdsmiljø tries to shed light on this. Their study shows that we in Denmark leave our jobs several years before our Nordic colleagues. On average, a Danish woman leaves the labor market at the age of 60, whereas a Swedish or Norwegian woman is in the labor market until the age of 64. Men are no exception. The average retirement age of a Danish man is 63 years, whereas in Sweden and Norway it is 65 years. These statistics are due to a very special player – the work environment. Many seniors experience being challenged when it comes to the demands of physical work, as it does not match their age, which is why they feel compelled to quit their jobs ahead of time, even though they could still have several more years. As an employer, you therefore need to create a solution that also takes into account older people with low physical capacity, so that their ability to work is not further reduced.
How to maintain motivation
One of the main points that mitarbejdsmiljø presents is that the management’s support is alpha omega in relation to seniors’ desire to stay in the labor market. If the employer expects the same physical exertion from all his employees, the greater the chance of long-term sick leave and withdrawals due to a physically and mentally ill health. In order to maintain the seniors’ motivation to stay in the labor market, the following conditions should be offered to older employees:
- Opportunity for flexibility and influence on time and work tasks.
- Opportunity for experience of identity, personal development and social contact through work.
- Recognition of the value of senior employees for task solution, decision-making and culture.
- Social responsibility and the ability to adapt requirements to the individual life situation.
If the retirement age is to be raised to 70 years, as research says it will be in 2040, some other buttons must be pressed than they do today, so that the increasing work pressure is reduced. Listen to the elderly before it’s too late.