“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence.
The pursuit of Happiness is considered the fundamental right of each person in the U.S. But it shouldn’t be the right of U.S. citizens only. I believe that each person has a right to be happy both at home and at work no matter of the gender, age, nationality, location, and profession or similar. Hence, each person has right for happiness both at home as well as at work.
Today a lot of organizations are focusing on how to attract and engage Millennials and how to make workplace appealing to them. You do not believe me? Well, let’s have a look at the workplaces: a lot of them look like children’s playgrounds with hammocks, bean bags, and foosball tables. Have these employers really forgotten that there are other generations as well in the labor market and it would be wise to focus on them as well? What is true is this that there are recruiters and employers who don’t see the recruitment of elderly people as an option. Why is that? Well, there are a lot of stereotypes associated with older generations like Traditionalists and Baby Boomers. For instance, they are seen as resistant to change, slow workers and slow learners (you probably heard the saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’) and sick and tired most of the time.
Well, here is a small surprise for you. It turns out that those so-called ‘elderly employee’ are actually the happiest. For instance, a study of more than 24,000 working professionals conducted by Robert Half who partnered with happiness analytics platform Happiness Works, found that those aged 55+ are the happiest! This resonates with a study conducted by the Employers’ Forum on Age (EFA) in 2005 which found that people in their sixties are the happiest at work.
And these are not the only findings of elderly people. A survey of 1,024 UK workers surveyed employees from different age groups, genders, and industries, asking them to score how happy they are in their current roles out of 10. Interestingly, workers in one of the oldest age brackets – aged 55 and over – were happier than any other age group, scoring 6.91.
In addition, it looks like the older the person is the happier he/she is. According to the Office for National Statistics research, 65 to 79 is the happiest age group for adults in the UK. The survey of more than 300,000 adults found life satisfaction, happiness and feeling life was worthwhile all peaked in that age bracket.
So what’s in it for you, why should you care for that? Well, happiness matters. Organizations need happy employees, because:
Happy employees are more creative and are better at solving problems.
Happy employees are less sick.
Happy employees are more engaged.
Happy employees have fewer safety incidents.
Happy employees are more productive.
So, next time when hiring, be open to different generations, especially for elderly people because they could be your key when creating happy workplaces.
Let me know what is your experience with elderly employees.
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