Saturday, September 29, 2007

Survey: Younger and Older Workers Appreciate Diversity of Age in the Workplace

A survey of older and younger employees in the United Kingdom shows that working in a mixed aged workforce is important for both older (66%) and younger (65%) workers with all recognizing the benefits of working with people of mixed ages. In the study commissioned by Jobcentre Plus, part of the Department for Work and Pensions, 40% of older workers believe their younger colleagues teach them skills they previously did not have, while one third of younger workers believe older workers are more likely to work anti-social hours than colleagues their own age.
Lesley Strathie, Chief Executive, Jobcentre Plus commented: "The research shows that having the right balance of age and skills can bring numerous benefits to establishing a complete workforce for both employers and employees. Both older and younger workers appreciate and learn from the qualities each brings to the workplace."
Among other findings in the study:
  • Younger workers think their older colleagues bring experience (94%), reliability (66%), and understanding (63%);
  • two thirds of older workers are impressed by their younger co-workers ability to learn quickly, be flexible (61%), and give them energy (51%); and
  • Younger workers stated that their older colleagues were more likely to be left in charge (60%), while over half of older workers believe their younger colleagues to be more likely to take risks, with 16% commenting that they are also more likely to be given manual tasks.
Source: JobCentre Plus News Release (Sepbember 26, 2007

Related Stories: Globe and Mail "Young, old and in-between: an we all get along?" by Jim Grey September 28, 2007 "Younger boss, older worker: Cooperation, communication can overcome age differences" by Karl W. Ritzler September 28, 2007

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