Sunday, January 16, 2011

Conference: British Psychologists Report on Value of Older Workforce

At a British Psychological Society conference on Occupational Psychology, three papers were presented on research showing the benefits of an aging workforce:
  1. Chartered Health Psychologist Dr. Frances Reynolds investigated the impact that working till a later age could have on employees’ health and safety. Looking at the health and safety experiences of post-retirement age workers (age 60-91), Frances found that these older workers were highly engaged, experienced group who perceived themselves as unencumbered by the frailties traditionally associated with ageing. "Most described deriving physical and cognitive well-being from work; perceived few safety concerns; and believed that, by continuing working, they were maintaining their psychological and physical health."
  2. Chartered Occupational Psychologist Mr. James Bywater (SHL Limited) presented research on the expectations, aspirations, work style and capabilities of ageing employees. According to James, there "is an assumption that older workers are not as valuable as younger workers, but based upon the evidence of this initial study there is no reason to discount this group as valuable human resources for the future." In fact, James found evidence that "older workers are more conventional and have less desire to lead and to achieve career goals but this is parried by their conscientious, emotional stability and better social skills."
  3. Chartered Occupational Psychologist Dr. Sheena Johnson (Manchester Business School) investigated how the changing age demographic of workers may have implications for health and well-being of employees in service organisations. She found that older employees experienced fewer negative customer behaviours and were more diplomatic and better at keeping calm. "Overall being older and more experienced meant they were better at dealing with customers varied needs."
Source: British Psychological Society Press Release (January 14, 2011)

No comments: