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Age and size (of business)

by on August 5, 2014

Two reports have come to our attention today – and our thanks to @helenmortimore4 for the CIPD one – both with a take on how age issues (diversity, management, discrimination etc) play out in organizations of particular sizes.

We spotted the first report (Age before Beauty) which was commissioned by employment lawyers Doyle Clayton (further details from their website here).  The second (Age diversity in SMEs: reaping the benefits) is a report from CIPD and the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, available from this link.

The Doyle Clayton report is a survey of UK employees in a range of differently sized organizations conducted through online interviews by a market research agency with a view to finding out how these employees view older workers and those who work flexibly. The CIPD report is a survey of a sample of senior decision-makers in UK based SMEs to find out their levels of awareness and activities in relation to age diversity in the workplace.

Both look worth a read – with the usual caveat regarding survey methods.

In relation to issues of organizational size, the findings reported are:

  • micro businesses are Britain’s least discriminatory workplaces and mid-sized businesses are where you are most likely to experience discrimination at work, in the view of their employees (Doyle Clayton);
  • the majority of SMEs (61%) focus on recruiting a mixture of ages, indicating that this trend of an age-diverse workforce in SMEs is set to continue. Almost nine out of ten SME employers surveyed agree that the knowledge and skills of older workers are highly valuable. However, 34% provide no support for the extension of working life and almost half (46%) report that their organisation has no activities in place to ensure access to enough skilled and diverse people of all ages (CIPD).
  1. Interesting Rebecca. Do you have examples of industries where the ageing workforce is such a serious problem (loss of skills etc) that they are very active in retention policies? I understand this to be the case in industries like engineering, rail, nuclear, oil and gas etc but am looking for concrete examples/case studies?

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