Back in 2015, renowned futurist Rohit Talwar gave a compelling (albeit somewhat bleak) insight into his vision of the future world of work. Talwar predicted that a perfect storm of increased workplace automation and advances in medical science, would result in a sizeable population of employees approaching the latter stages of their careers without realistic employment opportunities. With an increasing realisation that many employees will find themselves having to work for longer to pay for their retirement, Talwar’s predictions paint an ominous picture of the unique challenges which both employers and employees will likely be faced with as the working world continues to evolve.
The issues are both basic and chronic. For the worker operating within the traditional ‘blue collar’ industries and in physically demanding roles, the thought of working for longer is unrealistic and unappealing. Many are faced with the need to remain in employment for longer, but lack a clear plan or understanding as to the opportunities which exist for them or where their skills can be utilised. Many are also faced with the frightening scenario of having made no provision for their retirement or lack the financial knowhow or access to advice and guidance, to ensure that their later life is sustainable.
Similarly for those employees who find themselves at the back end of their careers and are faced with the prospect of redundancy, the change in lifestyle from full time employment to a less structured daily routine, can bring additional difficulties. Remaining both physically and mentally healthy and maintaining a reasonable quality of life is key, however an increasing number lack the knowledge and understanding of what that really means on an everyday level, placing them at considerable personal and financial risk.
Likewise within many developed economies, middle-aged employees are finding themselves increasingly marginalised by the advent of robotics or in some cases by a younger and often more tech savvy employee pool who are both cheaper and for whom an understanding and utilisation of technology is more intuitive. To compound matters, this trend shows little sign of abating with automation on the increase and the age at which employees become obsolescent, getting lower.
For the employer, the challenges are similarly complex with businesses faced with the need to make more strategic and difficult decisions to futureproof their human capital plans. How does an employer support their more senior employees whilst ensuring that succession pipelines don’t get blocked? How can younger talent thrive without feeling the need to look elsewhere to fulfil their career goals? How does a modern business manage the complex challenge of intergenerational workforces with differing expectations and needs? All these questions are difficult to answer.
As the UK’s leading specialist career transition experts, Renovo supports both organisations and employees faced with complex employment and career challenges. Whether it be providing guidance and support to help employees ‘Downsize’ their careers or working with HR Teams and internal stakeholders to help ensure that valued employees do not face the daunting prospect of leaving employment without the knowledge or skills to succeed in a crowded job market.
If your organisation faces some of the challenges associated with supporting an aging workforce then get in touch on 0800 612 2011 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.