Friday, September 07, 2007

Survey Shows Flexibility of Older Workers, Openness to New Tasks

Research conducted in the United Kingdom by Talent Q, shows that older workers can often be the most flexible--that as people get older they become increasingly willing to take on new tasks and more varied roles. The research, based on in-depth analysis of over 5,700 workers, challenges the common preconception that older workers are unwilling to accommodate change and that they may be unresponsive to new challenges presented in the workplace.

In other findings, the study showed that older workers are happy to work on their own and take a leading role without the need for much guidance, and that they demonstrate a high level of ability in building successful working relationships with colleagues, clients and suppliers. "While it was shown that workers in their fifties and sixties are much less ambitious than their younger colleagues, this is probably just an indication that they have already achieved their goals or have decided that they are happy with their lot in life."
Steve O’Dell, chief executive of Talent Q, said: “Older people in the workplace might sometimes be viewed as being stuck in their ways and a little less sharp. Our research gives a very different perspective.

“Talent Q found that older workers are less preoccupied about climbing the career ladder and that they tend to be happy, fulfilled and confident. As a result, they are glad to take on new work or projects, and aren’t unduly phased by lots of changes. They tend to plough on regardless--a fact that employers are quickly discovering can be a real benefit to their business."
Source: Taent Q Age Research (September 5, 2007)

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