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The Mapping Phase

Age and skills composition

A number of elements must be mapped in order to create the best possible basis for developing a senior policy that is tailored for the particular company in question. A survey and projection of the employees in terms of their ages will show how many employees are nearing retirement age, and reveal any recruiting needs. Identifying their skills, knowledge and experience of each individual employee provides a picture of the skills composition of the company as a whole. It is possible to determine whether a company is in danger of losing valuable skills by comparing its age and competence compositions. Such mapping can also reveal needs for new skills.

How are age and skills compositions mapped?

Current practice

The starting point for developing a good senior policy is to look at what has been done previously, and at what constitutes the current practice. Areas worth looking into include skills development, skills transfers, leadership training reward policy, recruiting and pension policy. You may have already implemented senior policy measures as part of your work environment initiatives, or as part of your efforts to develop an inclusive workplace. Many companies carry out projects and measures without thinking of them as senior policy.

How do we map current practice?

The wishes and needs of the employees

A desire to retire or keep working is influenced by many factors. Some factors tend to push people out of the work force, and others make retired life appear attractive. Companies seeking to keep seniors for as long as possible address these mechanisms, and know what things are important to their senior employees.

Mapping the various desires and needs of the individual can provide useful information about the distinctive characteristics of the company, and contribute to a senior policy that is tailored to the company’s particular challenges.

The desires and needs of the individual can be mapped in appraisals, annual performance reviews, separate senior interviews, milestone interviews, etc.

Desires and needs can also be mapped in a gathering of senior employees at which topics such as the following are discussed:

  • What would be important for me to prolong my working career?
  • What do I want the company to do
  • What can I do myself?

Before starting the mapping process, it may be advantageous for the group to discuss:

  • What is it like to be an older worker in our company / enterprise?
  • experience and skills
  • ageing and work
  • the ability to learn and adapt oneself
  • work ability
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