Are older employees satisfied?

As global populations begin to age, countries across the globe are beginning to face new societal and economic challenges. In Hong Kong for example, a third of the inhabitants are expected to be aged 65 and older by the end of 20141.

As the population of older people increases in workforces, it will become increasingly important for organisations to adapt to accommodate such increases.  So what can employers expect from an increase in the number of older people in the workforce?

Using the insights from our latest Global Employee Engagement Index™ survey, this article will discuss how employee satisfaction, workload and job searching all vary with age, and what this potentially means for employers.

Global Employee Engagement Index™

The Global Employee Engagement Index™ is a global employee survey conducted by Effectory International that surveys the work-related opinions of employees in 52 different countries.  Respondents are asked more than 100 questions each in order for Effectory International to gain a detailed insight into global work-opinions. From the data collected, Effectory International also creates a benchmarking tool that compares 52 different countries on 17 key HR variables (including employee engagement).

» Learn how the Global Employee Engagement Index can benefit your organisation

Satisfaction in older employees 

Our latest global survey results show that on average, employees between 55 to 65 years of age are some of the most satisfied employees within organisations. In comparison to younger and middle aged employees, older employees are generally more satisfied with their work. Employees in the 55-65 age range rate their work, workload and working conditions significantly more positively that younger employees do.

If we look deeper into the responses from our global survey we see that in comparison to younger employees, older employees are able to emotionally deal with their work better and are furthermore, better able to deal with work stressors. In addition to this, employees aged 55-65 also score higher than their younger colleagues in the energy levels that they gain from their work.  

Searching for new employment

In addition to being more satisfied, older employees also responded that they more likely to continue to work for their organisation in the upcoming few years. Only 22% of employees aged 55-65 responded that they have taken action to search for a new job in the last 3 months. In comparison, 42% of employees in the 45-54 range responded that they had either recently searched for a new job, or were planning to in the upcoming months.

What can we conclude?

In conclusion, the results from our global survey indicate that older employees are generally more satisfied with their work than their younger colleagues. It appears then, that older people are generally more satisfied in work. In comparison to younger employees, employees aged 55-65 also have the ability to effectively deal with stressors better, and they gain more energy from their work. Furthermore, less than one quarter of older employees are actively looking for new employment opportunities.

In short, our global survey indicates that a rise in the number of older employees could also increase the number of satisfied employees in an organisation. These employees not only gain more energy from their work, but also handle stressors better.


1 http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1392501/hong-kong-facing-hit-economy-ageing-population-looms

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