Older workers, with the considerable experience and resilience they will have picked up from having lived through considerable change, are a valuable asset to any business.
But – exacerbated by the Covid pandemic – we live in a time when the ageing workforce is reducing. Older workers are leaving the workplace in increasing numbers.
This phenomenon has resulted in large numbers of talented older workers being lost to the workforce at a time when there is a surplus of jobs.
The Centre for Ageing’s annual State of Ageing Report 2022 said even though the state pension age has risen to 66, employment rates among people approaching retirement age have fallen to their lowest levels since 2016.
While the loss of older workers, a group which collectively have adapted to new demands of working, different approaches to business and technological change, is prevalent, it is not the only issue companies face around the ageing workforce.
Older workers are also potentially subject to wear and tear from decades of work, whether that be a physical toll on their bodies or mental burn out.
People in the ageing workforce are also more likely to have to cope with caring for elderly relatives or other life-changing events such as children flying the nest or going to university.
This leaves businesses facing key challenges not only when looking to attract older workers, but to retain them, and move them around their company to ensure they are happy, productive and their needs, and the needs of the company, are met.
The benefits of implementing an internal mobility strategy
Internal mobility brings huge advantages for both companies and employees, including:
Making internal mobility part of any recruitment and retention plan to nurture and develop employees' benefits businesses and their growth.
That growth is of the utmost importance to employees and leads to increased employee engagement coupled with opportunities for career development and knowledge retention.
Reduced time to hire
Having a talent pool with skills and knowledge relevant to your company is important when attempting to fill vacant positions faster, easier and at less cost.
The talent market and the work landscape are continuously changing, meaning new roles are always being created.
Those companies which have upskilled and retrained their workforce are able to fill such positions using their existing employees, who can hit the ground running when taking up roles within a business they already know.
It can be hard to keep employees invested in their work, but internal mobility has been proven to counter this problem.
As an employer, there is a cost to poor employee engagement with talent potentially jumping ship or becoming bored and unproductive.
By providing opportunities for training, to try out different aspects of the business and to progress within it, this poor engagement becomes a thing of the past.
Empower your talent
By continuously developing employees, a company can allow them to gain and retain knowledge and skills, increasing their professional competencies to match the demands of an ever-changing workplace.
Using internal mobility to get the best out of an ageing workforce
Internal mobility practices can be used as part of a company's Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to make the overall policy stand out, and ultimately to attract older workers.
An enticing EVP, bolstered by strong internal mobility, can strengthen an organisation’s brand, enabling it to gain a reputation as an excellent place to work.
If, therefore, a company’s internal mobility strategy is targeted at getting the best out of the ageing workforce by making sure the correct training is available and opportunities are in place to move vertically and laterally across the business, then that organisation will be in a prime position to attract older workers.
Part of this is also down to organisations making sure there is an authenticity to their internal mobility policies – that they ‘walk the walk’ rather than simply playing lip service to the idea.
Managing Director of Reed Talent Solutions, Lee Gudgeon, said internal mobility is vital to tap into the value older workers can bring to a company’s workforce.
He said: “It is in every organisation’s best interest to consider how they can attract and retain the ageing workforce.
“Internal mobility allows companies to tap into the strengths of older workers, with a more flexible approach central to that goal.
“Internal mobility is right at the forefront of finding solutions to the questions and opportunities of an ageing workforce.
“Flexibility is increasingly sought after and there are huge benefits for companies with well-developed internal mobility policies with workers more likely to stay longer, learn new skills and remain motivated and at the top of their game.”
To find out more about this subject, download our free whitepaper ‘Internal mobility and the ageing workforce’.