The drive towards equality has in part led to the practice of employers being largely indifferent to the ages of employees in a drive to treat everyone the same. Yet it is through this very indifference that subliminal prejudice can creep into workplace practices resulting in employers consistently failing to maximise the talents and strengths of their staff.
The employment demographic is challenging employers.
Strangely, although the Government’s drive is towards a later retirement age the main employment figures produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) concentrate on men aged 16-64 and women aged 16-59. This despite the fact that figures for the quarter to December 2010 show older full time employees at 270,000 with a further 600,000 working part time. Combine these statistics with the current levels of youth unemployment and an interesting pattern appears. The employment demographic is shifting and in the process throwing up challenges for employers.
Same, same but different
The fact is that understanding the differing needs and aspirations of the workforce will enable employers to both align employee engagement and maximise productivity. In this respect true equality means helping people to work to their individual strengths rather than treating everyone the same.
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