Tight labor market? Older Employee Surprisingly Vital – EZPress®

Amsterdam, June 17, 2022 /EZPress/ – With a historical shortage on the labor market, more and more organizations are recruiting older employees. And that this often works out well in practice is not so surprising. 55 plus employees have more motivation and less stress symptoms than their younger colleagues. Opportunities lie here.

55 plus employees have more motivation and less stress symptoms than their younger colleagues. Opportunities lie here. †

In order to be able to do your work motivated and without too many symptoms of stress, a good balance between work stressors and energy sources is a precondition. We compared the vitality of employees 55+ with that of their colleagues up to 34 years old with regard to their work stressors and energy sources. And it turns out that the elderly are more positive about their vitality than the younger employees. The group where you may least expect it turns out to be very vital.

Young people have fewer work stressors
The young people have an advantage when it comes to the demands that the work places on them. They experience less stress from aspects such as work pace, mental and emotional stress and the complexity of the work than their older colleagues. Young people are also less affected by changes in work. A plus for the elderly is that they experience fewer disruptions in their work.

The elderly experience more clarity, variety and control options
Older employees experience better energy sources in many respects than younger colleagues. They have more clarity about what is expected of them, they hear more often whether they are doing their job well and they know better what is going on in the organization. They also experience more variety in their work and more autonomy and participation, so that they have more control options. Young people, on the other hand, find more challenge in learning new things at work and have more social support through better relationships with their colleagues and supervisors.

Better balance for the elderly
Although older people experience more work stressors, their vitality is higher than that of their younger colleagues. Apparently the balance with them is more favourable. The so-called ‘healthy worker’ effect can play a role in this. Employees who are less resilient or less healthy are more likely to be out of work. The most vital employees then remain.
It is striking that younger employees experience more stress symptoms than their older colleagues. In an extensive study by SKB in 1999, the opposite was the case: young people then had the fewest symptoms of stress.

What does this mean for the labor market?
Older employees can stay healthy and enjoy their work for longer if employers pay attention to a healthy balance between work stressors and energy sources.
With younger employees, it pays to focus on the specific drivers of the stress symptoms. Because if young employees drop out due to stress, this has long-term consequences for their availability – apart from their personal drama. And that while young people, with their better relationships at work and their ability to cope with change, have a lot of potential to thrive in new forms of work.

Over SKB
SKB has been specialized in research into psychosocial risks in the workplace for 30 years. In 2013, SKB was the first in the Netherlands to identify the steady increase in stress symptoms among younger employees. Factors play a role in this over which you as an employer have little influence, such as high personal expectations. SKB shows employers where they can improve to enable employees to function optimally and sustainably. The results of this survey are based on approximately 100,000 employees from all sectors of the labor force.

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