Posts Tagged “Age Positive”

Older adults offer leadership and experience, yet are often overlooked in the hiring process with HR instead focusing on millennials. That’s according to Ben Eatwell, CMO at Weploy.

Eatwell added that this is often out of a desire to “nurture the next generation of talent”, but also the satisfaction out of having a major impact on these younger minds.

“That’s quite a long way from retirement! We know diversity positively impacts innovation, culture and profits, but often age diversity has less focus.”

Eatwell said there are many advantages to employing older adults, particularly in positions where experience and leadership are needed. However, this doesn’t seem to be translating into more opportunities for older Australians.

“I think this has to do with trying to fit workers into traditional organisational structures – by exploring more agile, networked and outcome-oriented structures it can not only improve diversity but also productivity.”

Eatwell offers a few tips for HR professionals who want to boost the number of older Australians amongst their staff.

The starting point should always be a “thorough assessment of the recruitment process” to identify and mitigate where age discrimination could arise.

“One of the key traits we assess is learning agility – in a nutshell, the ability to pick new ideas up quickly,” he said.

“Research suggests that although you can make small improvements to your learning agility, it is more or less fixed and is not dependent on age.”

Consequently, choosing candidates based on learning agility can help add some objectivity to the hiring process.

From there it’s about developing a culture of lifelong learning. Mature employees have a huge amount of experience to share which can be “leveraged to increase overall productivity and morale”.

“Also I’ve seen reverse mentoring work very well, reducing knowledge gaps with both younger and more mature workers, as well as improving organisational culture.”

So what is lost by having nobody senior around?

“Often it’s the times of crisis when calm is needed, or when team morale is affected by a failed project, that age diverse workforces show critical value,” said Eatwell.

“We do a lot of ‘learning by doing’ and that includes what to do when things do not go according to plan.”

Eatwell added that leadership is a quality that is not tied to age, but the “reassurance of someone who has seen a crisis and worked through it to tell the tale” can be invaluable in making sure the right work gets done in these high-pressure moments.

Sometimes, the only senior person on a project is the boss, and employees are reluctant to confess an error that can lead to disaster if unaddressed, he added.

“Having a senior member of the workforce who can act as that neutral-confidant, and know what to do with the information, has considerable value.”

Employees from diverse ages have different experiences, perceptions and approaches when it comes to things like problem-solving, decision making and task handling, he said.

“They can also use various strategies – starting from the way they think, plan and execute tasks, which can influence operations in a more subtle, but still valuable way.”

Source:hcamag.com

Employers have been encouraged to consider older job candidates, after an 89-year-old man in the UK who claimed he was “dying from boredom” successfully found a job.

The Guardian reports Joe Bartley, an elderly resident of Devon, England, posted a job advert in the local newspaper last month seeking 20 hours of work a week.

“Senior citizen 89 seeks employment in Paignton area. 20hrs+ per week. Still able to clean, light gardening, DIY and anything. I have references. Old soldier, airborne forces. Save me from dying of boredom!” Bartley wrote.

Read more: One in four older Australians experience age discrimination at work: Study

Just two days after The Guardian’s article, Bartley received two offers of part-time work and has accepted a hospitality role with a local family-run café.

The café’s owner Sarah Martin told the Guardian, “no matter what your age or your background, you deserve a chance”.

“A lot of people who come here don’t just come for coffee, they come for a chat, so Joe is perfect,” Martin told The Guardian.

“How often do you get an 89-year-old person approaching you and saying he wants to work? Usually, we have to go out and find people, and when we get them, sometimes they don’t even want to work.”

Bartley also received a job offer from a bakery in a nearby town, but reportedly turned it down, as he could not easily travel to the business.

Psychologist Eve Ash believes businesses everywhere should consider hiring older workers, saying many of them a “defying expectations”.

“We typically don’t associate working with older people, we typically associate them with sitting around and taking it easy,” Ash says.

“We need to see fewer age judgements. There’s a perception once you hit 70, it’s time on from then on.”

“A whole new workforce”

Ash believes a whole new workforce exists in people over the age of 70, with older workers having “a different type of determination and stamina”. Ash’s own father still works as a land surveyor at the age of 92, with no plans to retire until he hits 100.

Some concessions do need to be made when considering older workers, Ash says, as “40 hour, nine to five jobs” are generally not suitable.

“At any age over 70 there are certain things need to be tested, like driving skills. Older workers are also more suited to shorter weeks and irregular working hours,” Ash says.

“There’s a wide range of things older people could be doing, like customer service or minding things.”

“We need to remove these concepts of age [limiting] employability potential.”

Ash says more evidence is needed to see exactly what sort of jobs are suitable for older workers, but firmly believes they are more likely to “have the time and the care to do things”.

“We might discover they have amazing positive mood characteristics, and in the workplace, this is extremely important,” she says.

It was not reported how many hours Bartley would be working at the café, but on Sundays, he will catch a lift with his boss to work, while catching the bus the rest of the time.

“We think about these things all the time. We are never going to be rich, but we like to give something back, so when we saw the advert there was no question – the minute we saw it we knew we’d give him a job,” Martin told The Guardian.

Source: Startupsmart

David Kazachov claims he has experienced ageism as a job seeker.David Kazachov claims he has experienced ageism as a job seeker. Photo: Nick Moir

After hitting the age of 45, David Kazachov started having trouble getting work.

“It is even worse at the age of 50,” he says.

When we say baby boomers are not good with technology and Generation Y don’t have enough experience, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Associate Professor Leanne Cutcher

Despite extensive experience in the finance and IT industry, Mr Kazachov was surprised to be asked if he had a laptop after making it to the final stage of a recent job interview.

Robert De Niro showed old dogs sometimes have the best tricks in <i>The Intern</i>.Robert De Niro showed old dogs sometimes have the best tricks in The Intern.

Well, of course he did, but there seemed to be an assumption behind the question that he was too old to be savvy with computer technology.

But as it turns out, ageism in the workforce is built on a faulty premise, according to leading Australian researchers of intergenerational employment.

Associate Professor Leanne Cutcher from the University of Sydney Business School is about to publish a new study that has found that contrary to stereotypes and assumptions, the most innovative companies are the ones where the age of employees does not matter.

One health engineering company that had a young chief executive officer appointing 65-year-old workers to new roles leading projects was among companies the researchers found to be the most innovative.

The multinational company, Siemens Healthcare, recognised that people had valuable experience to offer at all stages of their career.

Michael Shaw, the company’s chief executive, said Siemens “takes the best people for the job”.

“Personally, for me it’s not important if the person is in their 20s or in their 60s, I am simply looking for the best minds with the best attitude”, Mr Shaw said.

Associate Professor Cutcher said the company had recognised that the idea that younger people lack experience and older people have too much of it “is a nonsense” and “stifles” the exchange of innovative ideas.

“Where age doesn’t matter, there is more innovation,” Associate Professor Cutcher says.

“When we say baby boomers are not good with technology and Generation Y don’t have enough experience, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“Because people who have good ideas then don’t share them because they have been told they are too old.

“But you are just going to replicate the same ideas where you start labelling people as either too old or too young for a role. Where that is happening, it is stifling knowledge exchange.”

Associate Professor Cutcher said younger workers were positive about learning from older colleagues.

“We have this false idea that only young people can innovate and our research has found it has really big implications for the effectiveness of the organisations.”

“While there is robust evidence that older people can be part of a sustainable solution to job market challenges, existing and inaccurate perceptions of the Baby Boomer generation detract from the value of employing the over-50 population.”

Another new study to be released on Thursday by the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency reveals that age discrimination in the workplace is rife.

It found that close to half the Baby Boomer respondents claimed they have been turned down for a job since they turned 40.

The agency’s spokesman, Simon Hovell, said the study of 1200 people across Australia found three in five people over 50 said that they faced substantial obstacles in attempts to find a job.

More than two in five respondents said they felt stuck in rut because they felt a career change, opportunities or promotions were limited.

Baby Boomers said it took longer than six months to find a new job when making a career move. One in six said it took them five years or more to find a job.

Mr Hovell said Generation Y was costing up to $2.8 billion more than Baby Boomers a year to the Australian economy.

“Baby Boomers typically take three days sick leave on average per year, which doubles for Gen Y’s at an average of six days,” Mr Hovell said.

The research also found that more than three quarters of Baby Boomers adapt well to technological innovations, and 73 percent are actively seeking training opportunities.

“The findings point to what many organisations, academics and economists have known all along – Baby Boomers are a real asset to the workplace,” said Mr Hovell.

Source: SMH.com.au

Anne Shaw* and her husband love going on cruises, finding ocean travel to be the perfect holiday. But there’s another benefit for the grandmother of four: “It’s a way of escaping without having to say no to requests to look after grandchildren,” she admits.

Shaw isn’t alone: as much as they adore their grandkids, many of today’s nannas and grandmas feel that looking after grandchildren encroaches on their lives or is physically exhausting. Yet most of these women aren’t telling their grown-up offspring how they really feel.

Looking after the grandchildren can be a fraught issue; a complex web spun from conflicting emotions including love, guilt, joy, fear and obligation.

And the reality of doing it regularly – that it’s hardly all bliss and contentment – is such a taboo subject that all the grandmothers interviewed for this article asked not to have their identities revealed.

Baby boomer grandmothers know their Gen X sons and daughters are under significant financial strain. Dual-income families, demanding jobs, expensive childcare and the high cost of living mean mums and dads are turning to their own parents to help out with their kids while they work.

Grandparents provide childcare for almost one-third of children of working parents, according to 2015 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“In Australia, grandparents are the largest source of informal childcare after parents … Many households could not function without the unpaid input of grandparents,” write Barbara Pocock, Natalie Skinner and Philippa Williams in their 2012 book, Time Bomb: Work, Rest and Play in Australia Today.

This is no secret. What’s less well known is how these grandparents feel about and respond to requests for care – especially grandmothers, who usually take the lead in the grandparenting arena (research shows that even when grandfathers and grandmothers provide care together, grandmothers are more likely to take on routine or repetitive tasks such as bathing and feeding).

Janet Gibson*, a grandmother of 10, is frank: “When my first grandchildren were born, it was a pleasure to look after them. It never felt stressful.” But that was more than 20 years ago. Now in her 70s and suffering from arthritis, caring for the grandchildren is very different.

“I love the children but I’m physically unable to do what I used to do,” Gibson says, referring to the fact that it’s painful for her to pick up her baby granddaughter. Despite the difficulty, Gibson and her husband regularly look after the baby so their daughter can work. They’ve never told their daughter the extent of Gibson’s health issues.

Why not?

“Because I feel it would be unfair,” Gibson sighs, referring to the fact that she was very involved in caring for her older grandchildren and wants to treat her children equally.

This desire to help each of their children equally was mentioned by other grandmothers. Although understandable, it complicates the grandparenting experience, especially in large families, because more grandkids means more time and energy from grandparents who are only getting older.

Anne Shaw agrees – over the years her feelings towards grandparenting have changed. “I was so looking forward to becoming a grandparent,” she says. Before her first grandchild was born, Shaw reduced her paid employment from full-time to four days a week.

“I couldn’t give my kids money, so looking after my granddaughter was my way of helping out,” she says.
But 11 years and four grandchildren later, Shaw notices that she gets tired more easily and doesn’t have the patience that she used to. Still, she never says no to requests to look after her grandchildren because she “absolutely loves” seeing them. “I don’t admit it when I’m tired,” she says. “I just get on with it and do what needs to be done.” Now retired, this grandmother says she can simply catch up on sleep if she needs to after the kids leave.

But not all grandparents have this luxury: many juggle care of grandchildren with paid work, leaving them with little downtime.

The number of older women in the Australian workforce has significantly increased over the past few decades.
In the early 1980s, just 10 per cent of Australian women aged 60 to 64 were in paid employment, according to the Australian Institute of Family Studies. By 2009-2010, their presence had quadrupled to 41 per cent. (There has also been a small increase in the workforce participation of women aged 65 and over during that same period, from 3 to 7 per cent.)

Jill Westbrook*, in her mid-60s, is a working grandmother of two. For her, the issue of caring for grandchildren is more about how it restricts her income than the physical exhaustion. “I tend to say no to extra paid work because the grandchildren come first, but I’d like to say yes,” she says.

The combination of paid work and care also means Westbrook doesn’t get many free evenings. She wishes she had more time so she could play bridge, go to the theatre or the movies.

So why doesn’t she just say no when she is asked to look after her grandkids?

“Because I love my children and don’t want to see their lives any more difficult,” says Westbrook. “Too much financial pressure can strain a marriage, and if I can ease that I’m very happy. I’m divorced and want my children to be with their partners forever.”

Helen Andersen* is in her early 60s and regularly cares for three of her grandchildren. Of all the women I spoke to, Andersen is the only one who has initiated honest conversations with her children about her grandparenting role.

“I come home from a day looking after the kids and every bone in my body aches,” she says. “I don’t have the energy I used to, and I don’t know if the younger generation appreciates that fatigue.”

Since having that conversation, Andersen’s daughter treats her mother more gently and is more considerate. And Andersen is certain that’s a good thing. “When you’re honest, it’s such a relief,” she says. She believes it’s vital for grandmothers to let their kids know they’re not superwomen, instead of always insisting they’re fine and happy to look after grandchildren.

Andersen also acknowledges how difficult it is to refuse requests for grandchildcare: “You always push yourself because it’s your child,” she says. “The hardest thing to do is say no because we’re programmed to help and love and care and to give support over resting our aching bodies.”

Myra Hamilton, a research fellow with the social policy research centre at the University of NSW, says: “Because grandchildcare is tied up with love, family history, culture and shared experience, setting boundaries around care becomes difficult.”

Dr Briony Horsfall, a sociologist at Swinburne University, agrees there are great expectations on Australian women to be constant sources of care-giving. “These grandmothers are nurturing multiple, intergenerational relationships. It’s quite subversive to say no because there’s a risk of being seen as a ‘bad’ grandmother and a ‘bad’ mother [to adult children].”

Another complicating factor, particularly for paternal grandmothers, is the fear of decreased access to grandchildren if they decline care, especially if it’s a daughter-in-law making the request. Sometimes, it’s easier to play it safe and just lie – as does one grandmother who pretends she is feeling unwell, or says she’s going out.

Of course, it’s not all bad: caring for grandchildren can provide enormous joy and satisfaction. When I asked each grandmother what their ideal care scenario would be, not one elected to opt out of caring for their grandchildren. Rather, grandmother utopia involves fewer care hours; or to spend more time having fun with grandchildren, for example taking them to the park or the beach; or to have extra paid help to do the more physically demanding jobs, such as cleaning and other domestic duties.

A 2015 study, Grandparent Childcare and Labour Market Participation in Australia, commissioned by National Seniors Australia, found there is a tipping point after which providing care becomes less enjoyable: grandparents who provide 13 or more hours of care a week are less likely to enjoy caring for their grandchildren, and more likely to feel the effects on their work and retirement decisions.

But often it’s not so easy for grandparents to reduce their care hours, says Myra Hamilton, a co-author of the report. “The fewer options that adult children have in terms of work flexibility, childcare options and financial security, the harder it is for grandparents to say no to requests for grandchildcare.”

A survey commissioned by the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency found that 58 per cent of grandparents have had to sacrifice their own lifestyle and recreation, and 30 per cent have had to alter their work arrangements in order to care for grandchildren, while 23 per cent said they’d like to look after their grandchildren less often than they do.

Becoming a grandparent is supposed to be the gold medal for surviving the hardships of parenting; the ultimate love affair. But the truth is more nuanced.

“My friends secretly comment about the mind-numbing boredom of grandchildcare,” says Andersen.

“You are dealing with children with brains the sizes of peas. Lots of us held high-powered jobs, were successful businesswomen, so however much you love those sweet babies … how many games of Eye Spy can you play without wanting to rush back to your fabulous novel and a quiet cup of coffee?

“We feel wanted, satisfied with a job well done, loved and delighted in the love we get back,” she says. “But it comes with issues no one discusses and that men never even think about.” •

*Names have been changed.

  • In 2013, the average age of becoming a grandparent was 58-60; in 1953, it was 54-56.
  • In 2014, 837,000 Australian children were cared for by their grandparents in a typical week.
  • In 2014, more than 97 per cent of grandchildcare was unpaid.
    Sources: ABS, McCrindle Research

While recently having a coffee with a friend, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation at the table next to ours. Two women in their 60s were enthusiastically discussing their jobs. Their tête-à-tête was inspiring.

Image: iStock

Inspiring woman number one was talking about how much she loves her job and how her employer has trained her to use all the technology available to make her job easier. She’s a team leader with a large cleaning company. She works part-time and job-shares with another person. She enjoys the fact that her employer is happy to be flexible and to provide ongoing training, as she’s eager to learn. The conversation turned to interviewing staff, and how often she hears older women talk about how difficult they find it to secure a job. This is particularly true, she recounted, if they’ve been out of the workforce for a while, despite the obvious life experience and work skills they have. “How lucky we are to have jobs at our age,” she said.

Inspiring woman number two agreed. She shared that she’s enjoying her job despite having moved from part-time to full-time work at the request of the employer. She says she’s happy to help her employer during a busy period and hopes eventually to move back to part-time work; she’d gladly train someone else to help make that happen.

What an uplifting conversation!

Recent research shows that these two friends are among a growing segment of Australian women. The number of older Australians in the workforce is rising, with an increased number of Aussie women working past the age of 55, according to a research report from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research entitled Two Decades of Change: The Australian Labour Market 1993-2013.

The report shows a sharp rise in the number of women aged 60 to 64 still in the labour force, from 15.2 per cent in 1993 to 45.1 per cent in 2013. The number of women aged 55 to 59 working in 2013 hit 65.3 per cent, up from 36.8 per cent in 1993.

Likewise, the number of men aged 65 or older working more than doubled over the two decades, reaching 16.9 per cent in 2013, and the number of those aged 60 to 64 increased from 48.3 per cent in 1993 to 62.5 per cent in 2013.

The good news is, these figures are increasing; the bad news is, we still have a long way to go to wipe out age discrimination.

Source: NRMA

Date:  May 4, 2015

Philip Taylor, Michael O’Neill and Alison Monroe

Much is known about the labour market situation of older workers but no attempts have been made to collate this knowledge in a way that aids government policy development.

Particularly useful would be consideration of how to engender positive attitude change among employers and older people themselves.

Particularly useful would be consideration of how to engender positive attitude change among employers and older people themselves.

Any policy interest in mature-age workers is to be welcomed. The Australian Human Rights Commission’s recent announcement of its inquiry Willing to Work: National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination Against Older Australians and Australians with Disability presents a good opportunity to push the issue further up the agenda. But is this the right inquiry, and what is preventing concerted government action now?

Labour-market age barriers are in sharp focus internationally as governments, concerned with the economic effects of ageing populations, have acted to encourage longer working lives.

In the coming decades Australia’s workforce will experience a significant ageing and, simultaneously, shrinking, bringing to the fore the issue of the employment of older workers. In combination with declining birth rates, the retirement of a large cohort of baby boomers is expected to reduce the supply of skilled workers, contribute to a lowering of workforce participation rates, and raise dependency ratios.

Addressing workforce ageing is rightly viewed as critical to the nation’s economic performance, with the Treasury’s Intergenerational Reports referring to the need to improve mature-age labour-force participation rates.

Strategy development concerning the best use of older workers by the Australian economy is long overdue. Ageism faced by mature workers is certainly an important barrier to their employment, as evidenced by research undertaken by the National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre, but an inquiry centred on this risks portraying older people as victims, taking away any individual responsibility.

Perversely, another risk with the inquiry’s singular focus on ageism and age discrimination is that this may add to the stigma older people may face, confirming public perceptions of them as disadvantaged, and potentially further entrenching ageist attitudes. Also notable is that apparently the inquiry has no interest in ageism and its effects on the young, despite state and federal legislation proscribing age discrimination against people of any age.

A reductionist view of older workers’ labour-market problems as being solely a consequence of ageism also ignores key facets of what is a complex issue. A broader inquiry would be more helpful. This could usefully consider such issues as the employability of older workers and the incentives and disincentives to working provided by the social welfare and pension systems.

Importantly, a substantial amount is already known about the position of older workers in the labour markets of developed nations, including the nature and effects of age discrimination. There is a vast international policy and academic literature stretching back several decades, with major reviews and inquiries undertaken by national governments and bodies such as the European Commission and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

With the field already well ploughed, what then could a new inquiry consider? Much is known about the labour market situation of older workers but there have been no attempts to draw this knowledge together in a way that can effectively inform policy efforts in Australia. Notably, there has been a surge in public policy in the area of ageing and work internationally over more than a decade. Nations such as Finland, Germany, Japan, Singapore and Britain have been particularly active. The challenges these countries are facing are not so different that their actions would not provide potentially useful templates for Australia, where policy work to date has been rather more modest. So the inquiry could usefully take a considered look at what has worked elsewhere.

Particularly useful would be consideration of how to engender positive attitude change among employers and older people themselves. In this regard, internationally several projects targeting industry attitudes to older workers have been undertaken, for example, Age Platform Europe, Combating Age Barriers in Employment, and Employment Initiatives for an Ageing Workforce, funded by the European Union, the Finnish National Programme on Ageing Workers, Age Positive, the Employers’ Forum on Age and the Third Age Employment Network in Britain, and the AARP Best Employers International Award in the US.

Such analysis could help increase the impact of the Corporate Champions program, implemented by Labor and retained by the Coalition, which has been one of the more successful ways of creating action by Australian employers concerning workforce ageing. Above all, what is required is a strategic framework containing evidence-based proposals for raising the labour-force participation of older Australians and government will to act. It is to be hoped that the present inquiry will form part of such a holistic approach.

Philip Taylor is director of the Australian Retirement Research Institute, Federation University Australia. Michael O’Neill is chief executive office of National Seniors Australia. Alison Monroe is chief executive officer of Sageco management consultants.

Source: The Age

Political Reporter
Canberra
Employees are increasingly expecting to be laid off.

Employees are increasingly expecting to be laid off.

The number of Australians ­expecting to be sacked in the next 12 months has hit a 10-year high as uncertainty about economic growth permeates the workforce.

Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force data analysed by The Weekend Australian shows that a record 1.2 million Australians do not expect to be working with their current employer in a year’s time, an increase of almost 300,000 people in a decade.

Of those expecting to leave their job, 20 per cent say they fear being made redundant.

The job uncertainty revealed in the new figures — the highest level since 2004 — comes after the unemployment rate dropped to a three-month low of 6.1 per cent last month, and while the economy added almost 38,000 new jobs. The tentative signs of optimism come as the Reserve Bank warns of below-trend economic growth, weak business and consumer spending, and a continuing decline in the country’s terms of trade.

Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre director John Spoehr said the figures exposed a “classic patchwork economy”, with jobs growth strong in some sectors while ­others were in decline.

The demise of automotive manufacturing — which is linked to as many as 200,000 jobs — a slowing resources sector and ­public-service job cuts were fuelling the pessimism, Professor Spoehr said. “There is a high level of uncertainty prevailing at the ­moment,’’ he said.

“It is not clear where the next round of major projects will come from and there is a reluctance to compensate for this using public-sector investment. Many people are likely to be anticipating more difficult times ahead.”

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry director of employment Jenny Lambert said job insecurity highlighted the ­impact of business confidence on workers.

“Employees are caught up in that uncertainty, which is ­reflected in this quite significant increase,” she said.

She, too, cited the supply chains for manufacturing and mining, along with public-service jobs, as the sectors feeling most vulnerable. Since 2004, the number of people employed in manufacturing in Australia has fallen from 1.04 million to 911,000, and is forecast to drop to 893,000 by ­November 2018.

In mining, ­employment almost tripled from 100,000 in 2004 to 272,000 in 2013, before dropping to 229,000 last year.

While the number of people employed in public adminis­tration has grown from 598,000 in 2004 to 726,000 in November last year, about 30,000 jobs were shed in 2013-14.

Ms Lambert said the government needed to respond to the uncertainty being felt across the economy.

“They have got to again build business and economic confidence, they have got to try and paint a stronger picture about the fact that there is scope for growth in the economy,” she said.

Bill Mitchell, director of the University of Newcastle’s Centre of Full Employment and Equity, said the figures reflected a slowdown under way since 2012.

 

Source: TheAustralian

Date:  January 19, 2015

Could you engage in a conceited deceit that would make others think you were younger?

Could you engage in a conceited deceit that would make others think you were younger? Photo: iStock

You’ll have seen loads of ‘New Year, New You’ stories by now – do this, stop doing that, buy a different shampoo and you’ll look years younger, feel heaps better and be far more attractive.

The most consistent message seems to be that the appearance of youth is the key to success. Even for men, who traditionally have a longer shelf life than women, being young (or at least appearing to be) has enormous cachet.

There are plenty of ways to pass yourself off as a younger feller – new haircuts, plastic surgery, a spot of Botox, maybe getting rid of that unsightly beard. Best of all, try losing a few kilos – chiselled is always better than jowly.

But have you tried this? It’s simple and, while not entirely foolproof, it’s certainly guaranteed to bring results. What is it? Lie about your age.

Until quite recently whenever I mentioned how old I was, the response would be something along the lines of “No, really, you don’t look it”, “My God you are not” etc.

So imagine my surprise when I told someone my real age and their response was … “Oh yeah”.

My face had caught up with my birth certificate, something needed to be done, and the simplest thing was to rewind the clock.

It’s as easy as that. Now if anyone asks my birthday I give my wife’s. And just like that I’m six years younger.

Proof of youth

What’s wrong with that? It’s not like I’m trying to commit identity fraud. I’m not passing myself off as anyone else, just lopping 70 months off my age.

It obviously doesn’t work with banks or insurance companies which, annoyingly, want to know my actual birthday “for security purposes”.

It probably won’t fool HR when the grim reaper of redundancy next passes through the office, either. Everyone else will have no choice but to believe it.

And more people are doing it than you might think. I recently read a story about someone I’d interviewed  a few years back and smelt a rat. A quick look back through the clippings file revealed that he, too, had at some point been a bit elastic with his age. And good for him.

My sister admitted to me the other day that she’s been doing it for years and claims her partner’s birthday as her own now and again. She has to remember his star sign and act the part when she does but otherwise, she says, it’s a big success.

Getting away with it

But can you get away with it? Pick a new birth year – and stick to it. Maybe keep the same birthday. You might have to bone up on kids’ TV or pop songs from your purportedly formative years.

I’m luckier – an accent that identifies I’m not from around here gives me a degree of vagueness about these things. Don’t lop too much off, either – ideally, no more than 10 per cent of your real age.

I don’t think it’s a big deal. You are, after all, only as old as you feel. And if you feel like being a bit younger what’s to stop you? Go on, give it a whirl.

Is your age set in stone or do you tell the odd white lie?

Source:  The Age

Friday, 19 December 2014 1:50
BROEDE CARMODY
Which age group is guilty of chucking the most sickies?

YOLO*: young workers are more likely to fake a sick day than other age groups, according to research from Melbourne University.

Almost 40% of employees aged 18-24 and 43% of people aged 24-34admitted to faking a sick day in the past year in a poll of more than 1000 Australian workers conducted by the Centre for Workplace Leadership.

In comparison, workers over 45 years old or in senior management positions were least likely to fake a sick day.

Founder and director of the Centre for Workplace Leadership, Peter Gahan, told SmartCompany the study also looked into what employees thought of their workplace more generally and received some interesting results.

“More than twice the number of young workers were reported as taking a fake sickie than older workers,” he says.

“And about half of them who were among that group said they were not looking forward to coming into work after a weekend. I suppose it suggests to us that your past absence behaviour is probably a good indicator of future absence behaviour and the likelihood of people taking a sickie.”

Gahan says this widespread “Mondayitis” should be at the forefront of managers’ minds, and while it can be easy to label young people as lazy it is worth looking at the bigger picture.

“Given about half of them are also not looking forward to coming back to work, it tells us there is an issue with engagement and the extent to which people are happy at work,” he says.

“Have a sense of absence behaviour as an important way to get a sense of how engaged your workforce is. When people take an absence, don’t assume it’s because people are being irresponsible – it might be that you have an issue with employee engagement and satisfaction.”

“Managers need to think about how they can ensure that there is an opportunity for their workforce to express that dissatisfaction and be provided with a sense that they’re being listened to.”

Gen George, founder of short-term jobs platform OneShift, toldSmartCompany in light of the research businesses could look at how flexible their workplace is.

“I’m not justifying people lying, I just think it should be reviewed to suit the new culture at work,” George says.

“It works both ways, but maybe there’s happy medium… but of course while still protecting businesses.”

(*Maybe it’s just a case of You Only Live Once)

Source: SmartCompany 

working-retirement-employee

 

More than half of mature workers—those age 50 and older—have a desire to keep working after they turn 65, but on their own terms.

That’s according to results from a joint study by Ceridian and CARP,Second Wind: The Evolving Nature of Retirement.

“Mature professionals are often overlooked based on assumptions that they are too old to keep up with the times and may cost a company more in terms of benefits,” says Ross Mayot, vice-president and general manager with CARP.

“Employers need to realize that the age of the worker does not define capability, negate the willingness to learn or adapt, or automatically mean increased benefits costs.”

To retain and recruit these productive and skilled workers, the study recommends that employers need to be prepared to address mature workers’ health concerns.

Adopting a progressive approach to workplace wellness contributes to a healthier aging population and can help make it easier for companies to extend health benefits beyond traditional retirement age—a desire of nearly half (48%) of the study’s respondents.

According to the study, the traditional nine-to-five, five-day workweek doesn’t appeal to many who are choosing to work beyond retirement age. Forty-six percent of respondents want non-traditional work arrangements such as flexible hours and job-sharing, and 41% would like phased-in retirement options.

Mature workers also want to protect their health with benefits that extend beyond the age of 65. The good news for employers is that the overwhelming majority of mature workers rate themselves to be in excellent or good health; just 4% report chronic health issues.

“This means, employers can invest in health and wellness programs now and reduce the substantial costs associated with prescription drugs and other healthcare services later,” states the report.

The vast majority of mature workers are looking for assistance with routine health maintenance measures, especially getting more exercise, better nutrition and weight loss.

Stress is a minor concern for mature workers and should allow “employers to divert some of their budget for any stress-related programming to more desired programs instead.”

Source:  Benefits Canada