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Attention seeking: Older workers overlooked

Attention seeking: Older workers overlooked

Australian employers are improving employment engagement levels but more needs to be done to retain older workers.Mercer's 2011 What's Working Survey has revealed that while Australian employees…

Australian employers are improving employment engagement levels but more needs to be done to retain older workers.

Mercer's 2011 What's Working Survey has revealed that while Australian employees are more satisfied and engaged at work, they still want to leave. According to the survey, four in 10 Australian workers are seriously considering leaving their employer.

Older workers and Generation Y were pinpointed by the survey as the key groups of employees that are not entirely happy and more likely to leave their organisation.

The survey found that older workers aged 55-64 are more satisfied with the type of work they do and are less likely to leave, but feel they are being overlooked for career development opportunities. Only 40 per cent believe they have sufficient opportunity for growth and development, compared to 64 per cent of those aged 25-34. Older workers are also least likely to be satisfied with their pay, with 49 per cent saying they are paid fairly, compared to 66 per cent of 25-34 year olds and 51 per cent overall.

Mercer's human capital business leader for Australia and New Zealand, Rob Bebbington, said the research confirmed that older workers in particular remain an untapped opportunity.

"While Australian employers are getting many aspects of the employee engagement equation right, they're not making the most of the capabilities and ambitions of many groups within their organisation, which means they are potentially losing productivity and worst case scenario, key talent, which inevitably hits the bottom line," said Bebbington.

"Employers need to consider all aspects of the employment relationship and different stages of their employees work lifecycle. Our priorities and motivations change in life as we age and the same thinking has to be applied to the workforce."

Bebbington added that older workers are less likely to leave than Generation Y but report low levels of motivation and therefore they need more communication and development strategies.


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