As the retirement age all across Europe is being raised, many workers face longer working lives. We need to create a healthy workplace for all ages. By 2030 it is estimated that more than 30% of the workforce will be in the 55-64 age range.
These workers present various challenges for company Health and Safety managers who need to provide a healthy workplace for all ages.
- Age discrimination needs to be dealt with.
- Older workers may be more vulnerable to certain health and safety risks.
- There will be more workers with chronic health problems and specific needs.
- The high rate of work-related health problems in certain sectors – heavy physical and/or mental workload, non-standard hours –must be taken into account.
- Disability prevention, rehabilitation and return to work are of increased importance.
How does ageing affect your workforce?
One quarter of workers asked say that their work affects their health and that they do not see themselves as being able to do the same job when they are 60. By promoting a healthy workplace for all ages, employers are likely to see
- Reduced absenteeism.
- Reduced staff turnover.
- Improved productivity.
- Better staff morale.
How does stress affect your employees?
Stress is a major factor caused by the workplace. Statistics show that the proportion of workers in the 55-64 age range reporting exposure to risk factors that can adversely affect mental health, increased from 24.6% in 2009 to 25.9% in 2013. This is another vital reason to create a healthy workplace for all ages.
These facts correlate with a steady increase in rates of absenteeism and incapacity due to work-related stress and mental health problems across the EU. Along with musculoskeletal disorders, workplace stress and mental health issues are responsible for the longest periods of absenteeism, and the primary causes for disability retirement.
How can you make your workplace a less stressful place to be?
Workers should be able to raise issues that they have, and managers should help them to find solutions to these issues. This could involve
- Moving an employee to a less physically demanding job.
- Working with the employee to adjust their hours if they are on shifts.
- Allowing employees to work fewer hours, possibly through job-share.
- Encouraging communication between the younger and older members of the workforce.
Good managers inspire and motivate their workforce and encourage them to work towards shared goals. An environment where all ages communicate well, that is supportive, and where morale is high, is vital to the mental well being of all.
How do I go about assessing my business?
Mackin Consultancy is an Integrated Management Solution Company, whose professional team work with their diverse clients giving them everyday practical solutions to achieve their goals.