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Age Management

Attitudes among managers toward older employees have a major impact on their desire to keep working. Being noticed and appreciated by one’s immediate supervisor is an important factor in terms of staying longer in the workplace, as is receiving clear signals from the company that you are wanted. In other words: management is important, including with regard to senior policy. Five different areas with regard to management are described below that are particularly important for the company’s development of senior policy, and for senior policy in practice.

  • From a strategic perspective, the senior perspective consists of strategic decisions, actions and measures that are decided on at an upper level and have consequences in terms of senior policy. Such strategies are documented in the form of, for instance, documents that address the values that the company wishes to represent. The company strategy for recruitment and skills development are other areas that communicate information about this, as are its pension and wage policies. 
  • From a governance perspective, the senior perspective includes all of the steps that are taken to ensure that the adopted measures are actually discussed and carried out, and to determine how they will be followed up. Examples include the formulation of concrete plans for recruiting, skills development, work organization, shift schedules, etc. The company’s senior policy and the age management can be followed up at management meetings, and in follow-up of the immediate superiors.
  • The cultural perspective includes everything from top-level strategic decisions to the everyday behavior of managers and employees. Knowledge about and attitudes toward ageing are important in a senior policy context, and heavily influence the foundation for the senior policy in practice. Attitudes find expression in both behavior and expectations. The company can develop a culture that is positive, including with regard to its seniors, through clear signals, open discussions and managers who lead the way in terms of good practice.
  • DThe relational perspective includes the relationship between manager and employee. Knowledge and attitudes become apparent in the interaction between manager and employee. Knowledge about ageing and the ability to work, knowledge about factors that cause seniors to be pushed out of or to choose to leave the workplace, and knowledge about seniors’ desires and needs all affect the ways in which managers interact with senior employees. Expectations are created and confirmed. Increased knowledge, room for discussion and good manager training are positive factors in developing these relationships.
  • From a motivational perspective, the senior perspective has to do with what it is that stimulates and motivates senior employees to continue working or to leave, and how managers relate to this. There are major individual differences in terms of what senior employees are motivated by. Some factors tend to encourage early retirement, while others encourage seniors to continue working. As a manager, you must take these factors into consideration, along with the needs and desires of each individual senior employee.

Many of the companies that have succeeded in terms of senior policy exercise leadership and management that demonstrate in words and deeds, their willingness to commit to seniors. Having a conscious attitude toward management with a senior perspective will strengthen the individual company’s senior policy.

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