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Longevity: How can organisations prepare for this?

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Experts from Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) on rethinking career models to reap the benefits of longevity.

Forging their way into the future of work are the ‘older workers’ of tomorrow.

They are healthier, more active, comfortable with technology and resilient to change having adapted to waves of workplace transformations and career transitions. Greater access to education and global opportunities are likely to have resulted in a professionally well-rounded and adaptable worker.

Looking into the future

While we may not know how jobs will look like, the accelerated pace of change is almost guaranteed in the future. How do we then enable today’s employees to be successful in an extended career, as older workers of tomorrow?

One way is to initiate conversations early with employees to prepare them for work beyond the re-employment age, and throughout their longer careers. Employers can encourage and support career switch programmes that allow employees to develop an agile mindset even before they near re employment age. Such programmes can add value to your employees’ career growth and extend their career shelf life.

Employers should also take a longer-term view in planning for employees’ career by equipping them with tools and skills to succeed, regardless of how work evolves through the years.

Cultivating lifelong learning

As careers potentially stretch beyond half a century and technology continues to change the way work is done, skills and knowledge cannot stay unchanged.

Promoting a culture of learning is important to bridge gaps between current capabilities and future skill demands. Older workers of tomorrow understand the value upskilling brings to future-proofing their career. Having kept up with changes over the years, these workers should be fairly considered for development opportunities.

Employers can ensure this by rewarding employees based on their contributions, and creating a supportive workplace that supports learning at any age.

Rethinking career models

When careers become 50 to 60 years long, there is a need to move away from the linear career model that places emphasis on the 30s and 40s. Employers need to rethink the way employee growth paths are designed, to allow employees to reinvent themselves throughout their career with the organisation.

Moreover, a non-linear career journey will become increasingly common, with employees taking on different work arrangements or roles to equip themselves for new opportunities at different life stages.

Staying competitive in today’s world of longevity requires organisations to re-look at their workforce strategies and build talent across a longer career pathway. Only then can they leverage a career pathway that fully reaps the benefits that greater longevity brings.

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