Last week I spoke at the Edinburgh branch of IOSH about managing risks to wellbeing in an ageing workforce. The topic generated some very lively comment and debate and, based on the evidence I've found so far, I reckon we all have cause for concern.
The stats about the ageing workforce are scary and unfortunately ageing and illness are intimately linked. So how organizations manage issues like stress as employees age is going to be hugely important if people are going to remain at work, engaged and healthy. I've just started looking into this and hope to run some roadshow events on this topic later this year.
My impression is that most organizations are doing very little about managing the risks to wellbeing as people age at work. Also, the development needs of older employees is often neglected. Many, including Govt policy makers are very concerned, because of the costs of long-term absence to employers and employees (see this DWP presentation relating to recent report from Dame Carol Black) and the associated cost of disability benefits. At the same time we're all having to work much longer. All in all then, a bit of a perfect storm heading our way before too long. If we (employers, employees, service providers, policy makers etc) don't do anything about this, we're in big trouble. We can't afford not to act, it seems to me.
Anyhow, watch out for events about this. I'm also gathering information and resources and will pass on soon links to where you can access these.
Business Psychologist, Alan Bradshaw, is a specialist in the fields of stress management and the management of wellbeing at work.