Book News: February 28th, 2008

Demographic changes, skills shortages and recent UK legislation on age are having an effect on employment. Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development highlights the importance for employers to address the challenges presented by an ageing workforce to recruit, retain and engage talent.

The research, carried out on behalf of the Institute by Cranfield School of Management, examines what employers in the public and private sectors are doing to ensure that the way they reward and recognise the individual and collective contribution of older workers. It shows that a more holistic approach to pay and reward is necessary. Organisations need to look across their financial and non-financial reward offerings to consider whether they are attractive to older workers.

There are many examples of employers introducing initiatives to make their organisation more appealing to older workers, but most have been introduced on an ad-hoc basis to deal with specific issues. What is lacking is a systematic and integrated approach to reward that examines whether the pay and the financial and non-financial benefits are appealing to all individuals, irrespective of their age, race or gender.

This ‘total reward’ approach can help employers meet the challenges of an ageing workforce by looking at what motivates them in the workplace. The use of non-financial rewards, for example, initiatives to promote work-life balance, can be an effective way of promoting the attraction and engagement of an older workforce. While employers have been examining pay progression, few have taken the opportunity to evaluate whether the way they structure pay is sufficiently flexible to meet individual aspirations across all age groups.

The report is available from the CIPD.