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For Singapore employers to leverage fully on the benefits of having a multi-generational workforce, they must first structure their working policies to suit the requirements of such staff.
That was one of the key messages in the country’s health minister, Gan Kim Yong’s recent speech at a conference on ageing.
He pointed out that Singapore’s future in the next fifty years will depend partly on how it manages its ageing population, adding that in the next 50 years, one in five Singaporeans will be 65 years old and above.
This would make the society quite different than what it is today. For the nation to age successfully, Gan explained both individuals and companies must first rethink their attitudes towards work.
“Workplaces need to adapt to changing employee profiles as well. The challenge to employers is to re-design the workplace into one that is suitable for all ages,” he said.
He advised the re-design would be needed in various aspects – such as job roles, work hours, model of remuneration, work environment, work culture.
“The ability of employers to capitalise on the creative energies and experience of a workforce of different ages, will be the key to unlocking productivity and economic potential of a fast maturing nation.”
Gan added a shift in mindset was also required in terms of how Singaporeans themselves approach working and living past retirement.
He explained some senior professionals had told him they would like to take on a mentoring or coaching role in their current workplaces.
Others, on the others hand, had informed him they would like to have more flexible work arrangements, such as part-time work so that they can spend time with family, volunteering, or learning new things.
“As we live longer, we have to learn longer and work longer.”