Making rewards attractive for older employees

October 14, 2015

There is often a great deal of advice given on how to attract and retain new staff, often concentrating on the graduate sector; which is generally the younger end of the age spectrum. However, with an ever ageing workforce you might want to consider how to avoid losing your older employees in order to prevent the ‘brain drain’ of knowledge and experience from your business.

The number of people in the UK aged over 65 will rise from 17.7% currently to 23.5% in 2034 and did you know, there are now more people in the UK aged 60 and above than there are under 18! The fact that people are now choosing to work longer, for personal and economic reasons and with the default retirement age (formerly 65) being phased out – most people can now work for as long as they want to.

In order for employers to hold onto their older workers we would suggest the following:

  • Review your reward system to ensure that it covers a broad spectrum of needs. For example, a young, single individual is probably going to be more interested in gym membership than the amount of life cover on offer; whereas for older employees, a good retirement plan and critical illness insurance may be more important.
  • If you are an SME the cost of certain benefits such as private healthcare may prohibitive. Therefore shop around and see if you can get discounts for benefits such as flu jabs or gym membership so your employees can still sign themselves up without you bearing the total cost.
  • Avoid becoming complacent about performance managing individuals who are nearing retirement age and ‘overlooking’ them in terms of resultant pay rises; particularly as the retirement ages can no longer be predicted. In order to maintain levels of motivation, it is important that all staff are treated equally from a pay and progression standpoint in order to avoid staff departures and any potential claims of age discrimination.
  • If you get the chance, rather than asking someone when leaving what they think of your benefits, take the opportunity to ask all your employees what their opinion is now and what they would like to see on offer.
  • So, now is the time to take stock of what you’re offering your employees to ensure you are looking after ALL your employees.

National population projections, 2012-based, Office for National Statistics, 2013
Mid-2014 Population Estimates UK Office for National Statistics, 2015

Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.

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