Older talent have a huge role to play at work, study finds
The biggest downside to employing a person over the age of 60 would be the perception that they are slower to learn new skills.
That was the view of cognitive neuroscientist Dr Lynda Show, who recently conducted detailed research into people's attitudes towards ageing in the workplace.
Despite respondents believing that over 60s contribute a better work ethic (69 per cent) and attitude (65 per cent) than people in their 30s, 70 per cent of people thought that over 60s would be intimidated by advanced technology in the workplace. Shaw, however, believes that this isn't the case.
"Older employees might be slower to learn, but they are incredibly eager to try new things and develop. If employees spent some training time older as well as younger cohorts, they would reap a greater return for their investment," she said.
Dr Shaw added that older employees can mentor young people, which not only boosts their abilities but also generates communication and a stronger working relationship.
"The trend that 70 is the new 50 in the workforce (as well as in lifestyle and health) has risen because of patterns that older workers seem to have stronger writing, grammar and spelling skills in English, and have a stronger professionalism/work ethic.
"We have this wonderful bank of talent in the older generation, why are we throwing it away in business? Let's look at what is right with the ageing population and be grateful that we have longevity, rather than look at what is wrong! Companies need to embrace the work ethic and knowledge of the over 60s."
She added: "In business there is a genuine problem with the loss of older boomer workers but only a small percentage of organisations are addressing the issue and implementing specific policies and management practices in anticipation of this potential 'talent' loss."