Longevity at work: the 5 moves to make it an opportunity

The increase in life expectancy has pushed the retirement age forward and imposed a squeeze on early retirement. Over the years, in fact, a question of sustainability of the social security system has been created, burdened by the checks of those who in the past retired with a low number of years of contributions and a check that is now disproportionate and weighs on subsequent generations. In this context, according to Intoo (Gi group) one of the challenges that companies have to face is professional longevity which, in part, is due to staying at work for several years, but, in part, is also due to the scarcity of skills on the job job market.

If the Istat data at the end of 2023 tell us that the over 55s employed in Italy have grown by 15% compared to 2022 and are destined to increase, the data from the Excelsior Unioncamere information system tell us that on many profiles, especially those linked to IT and in the engineering world almost every second profile is difficult to find. This forces companies to address the issue of longevity from a more complex perspective than that of costs, in order to maintain competitiveness. This, in many cases, means retaining seniors. However, trying to motivate them and help them plan the last years of their professional life well, especially in three areas: health, savings management, skills. «Demographic trends increasingly concern organizations and longevity is now in first place; it must be seen as a resource, rather than a critical issue – says Alessandra Giordano, director of Employability and Career Development at INTOO (Gi Group Holding) -. An in-depth knowledge of the company population is fundamental: it means knowing the level of skills, motivational aspects and needs. Especially when we talk regarding over 55s with skills and experience, in fact, companies must keep in mind that the connection between person and worker is closer than ever and that baby boomers represent an asset to be valorised for the future of the company in a profitable exchange with other generations”.

The 5 moves to manage longevity

Developing a new approach to age management means first of all creating an early culture of planning even for the youngest. Therefore, companies’ first move to manage longevity is planning, which means making in-depth and organized mappings of the professional skills and personal characteristics of collaborators to enhance the experience of long-timers and ensure that everyone’s skills are increasingly aligned with needs of the organization. This also means planning ahead for the transfer of technical and professional values ​​to the new generations and having succession plans for all roles. The other strategic step is pension mapping because it is essential to know when those over 55 might retire. This is followed by engagement and development plans for seniors, useful for creating channels of exchange between young people and seniors to help the growth of the new generation and take care of the employability of seniors. Given that pension checks will become increasingly lighter in the future, this might help us imagine having an active professional life even when we are over 60. Then there is welfare and well-being, where standard and generalized formulas no longer work: instead, it is necessary to organize packages and solutions to customize for age and specific needs. Finally, the gender issue deserves further investigation.

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The gender question

The culture of longevity is an issue that is too often underestimated or procrastinated, especially in reference to gender. For women it is much more urgent than for men, both if we look at social security and welfare aspects. In the first case, women, due to lower salaries and discontinuous careers, have on average pension benefits that are 30% lower than men. In the second case, however, it must be said that it is more often women who take care of care work and family responsibilities. This is why it is important to train them on topics such as savings management, professional longevity and pension issues. «If the younger generations today, when choosing a workplace, look at companies’ attention towards sustainability and DE&I as decisive factors, seniors evaluate the attention to the overall well-being that the organization shows to the individual in terms of flexibility of services and welfare integrated and built on the basis of specific needs – says Giordano -. In the complex panorama of the world of work, all groups of workers want to be “attracted” and feel retained by companies, considering the greater possibilities on the market also for the over 55s themselves”.

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2024-03-20 07:30:10

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