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Companies Suffer When They Ignore Older Employees, Study Says

Companies Suffer When They Ignore Older Employees, Study Says
The Wall Street Journal
By Rachel Feintzeig
Published: January 3, 2017

When companies don’t pay attention to older employees, it can cost them, according to a new paper.

Researchers at the University of South Australia and the University of Melbourne surveyed 666 Australian workers between the ages of 45 and 75 about their work experiences. They found that those in workplaces that were less friendly to mature workers were less dedicated to their work and less energized by their jobs. The engagement levels of employees whose workplaces were most unfavorable to older workers were 19% to 20% lower than those whose workplaces were most helpful.

The workplaces where older employees fared the worst didn’t have programs such as phased retirement, and older workers there had younger managers, younger work groups and did manual labor.

“The reason they’re not performing is we’ve created a work environment where they’re not going to work well,” said Carol Kulik, a professor of human-resource management at University of South Australia and an author of the study, which was published in the December issue of the Academy of Management Journal.

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