Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Age appropriate working practices

28.08.2013
A new study examines how employees in small and medium-sized enterprises can remain fulfilled and productive as they age

How do companies make their workplaces suitable for an aging workforce, and what useful approaches or examples of good practice do they offer? In a current research project commissioned by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance and Economics, Fraunhofer IAO has set out to find the means by which companies deal with the issue of “Age-appropriate working practices”.

The impact of demographic change and the numbers behind it have been common knowledge for a long while. But it is only now that responses to it seem to be heading in the right direction. Finally, there is an acceptance that the solution no longer lies in recruitment and a reliance on youth to cure all ills but rather in age-appropriate working practices. Companies that wish to remain productive must take steps to avoid future situations where their employees are no longer able to perform their duties as they age, having to take long periods off work due to illness, experiencing impaired performance, or even reaching the point where they can perform only light duties. In other words, companies need to act now to maintain and reinforce the employability of older workers at an early stage and constantly recognize, stretch and nurture their capabilities.

Companies seeking to foster a working environment suited to the changing needs of people as they age have to consider issues such as staff development, further training, how to organize their workforce, knowledge management and preventive healthcare. Fraunhofer IAO has been tasked with finding examples of best practice in these areas as part of a research project commissioned by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance and Economics. Thanks to a German-language online questionnaire and telephone interviews, the project team has already been able to gain some insights and is in a position to set out its preliminary findings:

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have already identified for themselves all the core areas where action needs to be taken. This means that the study will be able to present sample measures for all areas.
The scope of measures taken does not depend on the size of the company but rather on its management. und Mitgestaltung explizit betonen und einfordern.
As far as corporate culture is concerned, there is significant disparity between caring companies that consider the workload of their employees as part of welfare and the type of company that explicitly stresses individual responsibility and calls on employees to have their own say in such matters.

The study will also unveil completely new structural approaches, including training positions for the middle-aged and elderly as well as positions aimed specifically at staff retention.

Demographics are increasingly a leadership consideration in which management is supported by wide-scale awareness initiatives, strategic alignment and direct coaching.

Family and private life are assuming a more prominent role, both at corporate events and through family-friendly part-time positions.

Activities promoting health are also common in these companies.

High-tech companies are particularly active in taking steps to protect knowledge.

The study is aimed at departmental, HR and general managers in small and medium-sized enterprises and will run until the end of October. The edited study report, entitled “Making demographics work for you” will be available from the beginning of next year.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Anna Hoberg
Business Performance Management
Fraunhofer IAO
Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Telefon +49 711 970-2135

Juliane Segedi | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:
http://www.iao.fraunhofer.de/lang-en/business-areas/corporate-development-work-design/1064-age-appropriate-working-practices.html

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Getting electrons to move in a semiconductor

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Reconstructing what makes us tick

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials

25.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>