Call for age diverse workforces

Employers need to do more to take full advantage of 'age diverse' workforces, according to research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

A study of almost 3,000 employees and more than 900 employers found that multi-generational workforces bring greater knowledge and innovation to businesses.

However, the CIPD found that many firms are not capitalising on the potential benefits of an age diverse workforce:

  • 31 per cent of businesses do not have an ageing workforce strategy
  • 34 per cent do not ensure they have access to skilled and diverse employees of all ages
  • 22 per cent of employers have no plans to ensure employees of all ages update their skills
  • 46 per cent reported that their line managers are not trained to handle multi-generational teams.

Multi-generational workforces look set to grow, with more people planning to work longer. Almost one in four respondents expects to retire between the ages of 68 and 70, while 16 per cent will not retire until after the age of 71.

Claire McCartney, research adviser at the CIPD, commented:

"Despite well-publicised skills shortages and low productivity, our research shows that businesses are not doing enough to recruit from an increasingly age diverse talent pool.

"The good news is that both employers and employees recognise the benefits that workers from different generations bring.

"To capitalise on these opportunities, businesses must be much more proactive. They need to do more to tap into the variety of skills an age diverse workforce can bring and ensure they are able to support the extension of working life.

"We know that the multi-generational workplace is on the horizon, and businesses need to act now if they want to be prepared."