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Employers face a disengaged older workforce

Employers face a disengaged older workforce

Workplace pride is on the rise but older employee engagement takes a hit

The UK’s older workforce is disengaged from their work and has lost faith in managers, bucking a rising trend in British workplace pride, a new poll shows.

UK workplace pride has increased since the summer lull with nearly half (46.3%)* of employees proud to work for their organisations, according to research from hyphen, the recruitment solutions provider. Workplace pride troughed in July: a previous hyphen poll showed that only two fifths (41.7%) of workers said they were proud to work for their organisations.

Increase in pride was felt most significantly by women and workers in the North West, with only two fifths of women (18.0%) no longer proud of their organisation, down from 27.3% in Q2 2012. And only two fifths of workers in the North West have lost pride in their place of work since the summer (down from over a third [34.5%] in Q2 2012).

In the poll of over 1,000 office workers, nearly two thirds (65%) of employees believe their manager empowers them to do their job, down from over two fifths (69.8%) during the summer. Meanwhile, the number of employees that believe their role directly contributes towards their organisation’s success has decreased slightly from 90% to 86.8% in the past three months. The research shows that while workplace pride may have increased, the quality of employee-employer relations, maintained by strong internal communications and effective line management, has diminished. Organisations’ greater focus on cost control and risk management could be resulting in a style of micro management that is leaving employees feeling less engaged day to day.

Engagement among older workers has seen the clearest decline. Less than two thirds (63.1%) of over 55s currently believe their managers allow them to work to the best of their ability, down from nearly three quarters (74.9%) over the summer. And their sense of worth has also taken a hit with less than three quarters (73.1%) of older workers suggesting that their organisation seeks their opinion and listens to their views, down from nearly four fifths (79.4%) three months ago.

While workplace pride has increased overall – possibly buoyed by the so-called Olympic & lsquo;feel good factor’ – employers must now ensure that morale is maintained by focusing on empowering employees of all ages and seniority to do their job to the very best of their ability.

Zain Wadee, managing director at hyphen, said: “Although pride in the workplace seems to have increased slightly since its low over the summer, it is concerning that older workers seem to be feeling the strain.

“While focus at this time of year for organisations does tend to be on younger employees joining through graduate recruitment schemes or similar programmes, it is essential that organisations’ HR focus does not neglect their older talent.

“October marked the end of the enforced retirement age and many organisations now have a growing older workforce with talent and experience that can be tapped into and passed down to younger employees.

“Engagement is a business imperative at all ages and it is important that employers adopt an approach towards training and development that inspires and engages all spectrums of their workforce.”

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