Images of the productivity of older workers held by employers and employees

2009 – Images on the productivity of younger and older workers play an important role in the way employers deal with both categories of workers. In this article the results of a survey among employers and employees are presented. 

Where does the relatively negative image that employers have of older workers come from? This article examines the views of employers about the determinants of the productivity of older workers and young people. What do employers of the various aspects of employee productivity and what is ultimately decisive for recruitment. 

Using a survey both employers and employees were interviewed. To put the views of employers in perspective, these were compared with the beliefs that employees themselves have about the productivity of older workers. 

‘Hard’ factors such as mental and physical capacity appear to be critical to the overall image employers have of employee productivity. Employees on the contrary stress ‘soft’ factors such as reliability, commitment and social skills. Perhaps the challenge for entrepreneurs coping with aging, is to make ‘soft ‘ skills profitable.

Reference: Dalen, H. van, Henkens K. and Schippers J. (2009) Beelden van de productiviteit van ouderen bij werkgevers en werknemers (Images of the productivity of older workers held by employers and employees). Tijdschrift voor Arbeidsvraagstukken 25 1/2009 (Journal for Labour Affairs). (See attachment)