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Businesses welcome age diversity but need to start preparing for ‘4G’ future

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The study found that almost a third of employees saw no challenges in working with colleagues from different generations, with employers and employees in agreement that knowledge sharing and innovation are the leading benefits.

However, according to CIPD, businesses are still ill-prepared to capitalise on the opportunities that an age diverse workforce can bring. 

Over 30 per cent of employers were most likely to say their organisation does nothing to ensure it has access to skilled diverse people, while nearly half of employers said that line managers are not trained in managing teams of different generations.

Claire McCartney, Research Adviser at the CIPD, said: “Indeed, fears of intergenerational tensions in the workplace couldn’t be further from the truth. Companies report important business benefits such as knowledge sharing and enhanced customer service, while employees clearly enjoy the new perspectives and fresh ideas inspired by working with people of diverse ages. 
 
“To capitalise on these opportunities, businesses must be much more proactive. They need to do more to tap into the variety of skills an age diverse workforce can bring and ensure they are able to support the extension of working life.”

Other key findings:

  • Organisations seem to be fairly age diverse between the ages of 18-64 but very few currently have employees aged 65 or over;
  • Employees are far more likely to recognise the opportunities for innovation created by age diverse teams than employers;
  • People are planning to work longer; and
  • The initiatives that organisations are most likely to be using to support the extension of working life include: flexible working options (42 per cent) and a flexible retirement policy (30 per cent) 

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