Mature workers are valuable assets to the workforce, PERSOLKELLY's 2019 Q1 APAC Workforce Insights has showcased.
While another recent study revealed only 32% of respondents who were willing to work with older workers felt companies were willing to hire them, PERSOLKELLY's insights revealed 96% of Singapore-based hiring managers and employees surveyed agree there are benefits of working with colleagues aged 55 years and up.
Of these respondents, 73% felt mature workers are most valued for their experience, and 59% cited their knowledge about the industry and day-to-day work as a benefit. As such, two-thirds of the respondents said mature workers should work for as long as they are able to.
Foo See Yang, Managing Director and Country Head, Singapore at Kelly Services, said these findings align with the Singapore government's focus on mature employees in Budget 2019. "As the population ages, we must look to better safeguard the labour potential of our older workers to maximise their potential."
Singapore has yet to fully leverage its mature workforce
That said, the insights revealed Singapore has yet to fully leverage its mature workforce. For instance, less than half, or 42%, of respondents agree companies in Singapore have age-friendly facilities or practices that accommodate older employees, such as handrails and lights along travel routes and avoiding the use of age as a selection criterion when recruiting candidates.
Further, 34% of respondents agree companies have a culture that encourages or promotes hiring people older than age 55.
At the same time, 51% of the respondents find their older colleagues tend to be more close-minded and stubborn and less adaptable to changes (43%).
On the need for all parties to collaborate in unlocking the potential of Singapore's mature workforce, Foo said: "Older workers must proactively seek to combine their years of industry experience with an understanding of new technological tools; companies must provide employees with sufficient learning opportunities to become proficient with these technologies."
In addition to mature workers, it was also found that other groups, including people with disabilities/special needs and returning mothers, also play a role in Singapore's future workforce today.
In fact, nearly four in five (79%) respondents find value in employing people with disabilities/special needs, while this group is most valued for having a more responsible attitude (35%). While respondents felt returning mothers need more support, only 60% agree they are already given adequate support and benefits.
Where do our neighbouring countries stand?
When it comes to the benefits posed by mature workers, 57% of respondents in Thailand believe these colleagues have good mentor skills, while 51% in Australia believe they are more knowledgeable about the industry and day-to-day work.
As for staff with disabilities, 37% of Hong Kong-based respondents believe these people are more loyal to the company, and 42% in India believe they have a more responsible attitude. At the same time, 52% in New Zealand believe people with disabilities can provide a different perspective to business challenges.
View the full infographic here:
Lead image / 123RF Infographic / provided