Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flexibility Initiatives by Employers Can Benefit both Employers and Older Workers Research Finds

The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College has published the results of research finding that workplace flexibility initiatives, when properly matched to employee needs can provide strategic benefits to older workers and their employers. In "Flex Strategies to Attract, Engage & Retain Older Workers," the Center presents corporate case studies across a variety of industry sectors that demonstrate the value of workplace flexibility’s ability to recruit, retain, and engage older workers.

The most common strategies used by the three organizations (Central Baptist Hospital, Marriott International and MITRE Corporation) surveyed were: offering part-time positions (42%), hiring retirees as consultants or temporary workers (40%), and offering flexible work arrangements for older workers (36%). According to the Center, the best, and most promising, flexibility practices are those that address managers’ concerns about such things as trust, losing control and coaching older workers.

Before providing a series of recommendations, the report offered the following conclusions:
For older workers—indeed, for employees in all age groups—having access to flexibility is predictive of greater employee engagement, less stress related to perceptions of work overload, better physical and mental health, and greater satisfaction with work/family balance. However, for maximum impact, flexibility must be the right fit for each employee. To accomplish this for older workers, the employers featured in this report offer a variety of options to customize when and where work is accomplished and how careers are organized.
Source: The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College Publication News (March 28, 2012)

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