Assessing HR Strategies for retaining an ageing workforce
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An ageing workforce is an issue faced by governments and employers in most western countries (OECD 2005). The generally accepted definition of an aged worker is someone aged 45 years and over (Brooke 2003). At the level of the organisation, a range of HR strategies are recommended to deal with an ageing workforce, including attracting younger workers and retaining ageing workers for longer. Recruiting younger workers changes the demographic structure of the workforce, and is not the focus of this paper. Here we identify potential strategies derived from the literature that could be adopted to retain an existing ageing workforce. We then examine a public sector organisation with an ageing workforce, to assess which strategies have been adopted and to begin to assess how effective these strategies are. We find that the case study organisation adopts many of the HR strategies suggested in the literature, but our preliminary findings suggest that these policies are unlikely to have a positive effect on the retention of ageing workers unless the employees are actively encouraged to use the policies.
Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Employment Relations Association Conference, Canterbury Christchurch University, UK, July 2007
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Human Resources Management