Aging Workforce

Australia is facing a potential workforce crisis. As its population ages, a relatively low number of mature workers are choosing to remain in the workforce. By 2016, the number of individuals aged 60-64 is expected to almost double1. Australia currently has one of the lowest workforce participation rates for older people in the developed world. It is estimated that there are approximately six working individuals in Australia for every person over 65 years2.

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In August 2003 address at the Symposium on Mature Age Employment, Australian Prime Minister John Howard asked the government, employers and individual employees to play an important role in staving off a major national crisis. 3 In the Hudson report 20044, it is argued that Australian employers have failed to recognize that they have a reducing labour market and only one third of the Australian employers encourage old age workers to stay in the workforce. The Hudson Report 2004 has uncovered the extent to which employers are not pro-actively seeking to attract and retain mature aged workers.

Management of an ageing workforce is a complex issue and, to be effective, needs basic knowledge of the relationship between work ability and work demands. Large Corporation like Australia Post have introduced policies to actively seek out over 45’s for their workforce. This paper discusses the strategies and research on Australia post’s employer strategic responses to the aging workforce. Australia Post is providing mail and parcel services across Australia. Australia post is one of the organizations which responded to the aging workforce employment among other few organizations.

Australia Post’s strategic approach to age management the broad objective of maintaining work force sustainability is helping the corporation’s current and future needs. It is noticed that the average age of Australia Post employees increased to 44. 5 years in 2009 from 43. 9 in 20085. Organisation like Australia post relay heavily on the employees. Australia Post first completed analysis on its workforce demographics as a whole and in groups. One of the areas which they initiated the program was customer service.

As the population gets older it seems to be important that the shape of the organization reflects the shape of the population itself. For example the customers were very old and the employees where very young where there is an issue whether the workforce able to understand the customer requirements. The labour source and supply includes the study of demographic shape of post by division or occupational group to determine whether they are optimal or other special interventions are required.

These studies included workforce planning including the demographic analysis is continuing by corporate and divisional human resource groups. The communication program has been introduced dealing with Within Australia, a number of employees are participating in workforces where employers are failing to take the demographic change seriously10. Accusations like these are often appearing in every articles and journals in Australia about the aging workforce management in the Australian organizations.

Now organizations like Australian Post have approached the issue with more serious reserch and successfully implemented the strategy to which successfully manages the aging workforce. It is proved that their approach in the year 2006 increased the workforce and improved the performance by 2009. The study indicates that mature age worker have increased their share of the workforce from 8 percent to 11. 5 percent. There are certain issues that might affect the mature workforce for example the cost impact of hiring and retaining more older workers can be quite modest.

So the part-time re-employment opportunities to workers who have been retired from the company can help the workers who take the offer suffer no loss of retiree benefits and can reduce the cost impact. It is very important to balance the value and cost at the same time. The importance of reserch in aging workforce cannot be neglected . The results of the implementations by the organizations like Australia post shows great opportunities to reduce the problem of labour shortage and productivity problems.