Many workers seem to lose their motivation as they get older. Confidence in getting a new job also appears to be dipping with age. The government calculates a 5% increase in the mature age participation rate would boost the economy by 2.4%, or almost $48 billion by 2025. If people are going to work longer, and mature age workers are going to form an even larger proportion of the workforce, then sustaining motivation is vital.

There are many benefits to hiring mature age workers. Mature age workers have lower absentee rates, higher rates of retention and the benefits of life experience, yet many employers are still reluctant to take them on. Here are 5 ways that your organisation can change their mindset, provide better opportunities and sustain the motivation of mature age workers.

  1. Challenge the stereotypes: There’s no longer room for assumptions and stereotyping - e.g. while many people might assume mature age workers are more likely to be off sick, the opposite is actually the case. 
  2. Support your staff: Research shows older workers like more flexible working opportunities, and the chance to take up mentoring roles. This can help your organisation pass on skills and encourage greater engagement and collaboration while managing a multi-generational workforce. 
  3. Ensure advertising is neutral: Legally, you can’t refer to age when advertising unless you’re undertaking positive action - this includes avoiding references such as ‘graduate experience’. It’s also important to ensure the advertisements don't appear to favour one age group over another. 
  4. Know the drivers: Understanding what drives mature age workers’ attraction to an organisation – and what makes them stay is key to workforce planning and managing talent. 
  5. Age audits: Some businesses now regularly review the age balance in their workforce. Ideally, age audits should not just look at recruitment, but your entire workforce plan, including key factors such as promotion and availability or take-up of training. 
According to the Randstad Workmonitor and Mobility Index, 63% of Australian workers would be happy to work two years past their retirement age; combined with the Australian government offering a range of employer bonus payments as an incentive organisations take on more employees over 50 years of age, opportunities for older workers look promising as long as employees are opening to attracting and retaining them in their business.