Addressing age diversity in the work-place is not just a nice-thing-to-do….it can pay dividends. The ‘Champion Age Diversity’ employer engagement programme is designed to support employers to achieve the greatest value from holding, and instilling, age diversity values and behaviours.
Being a ‘Champion’ attracts many advantages and benefits, including some of the more intangible values of presenting the organisation as a good place to work, and an organisation that is aware of the positive social and well-being attributes that a diverse work-force can bring. We are an accredited national provider to the UK governments Department for Work and Pensions, and the ‘Champion Age Diversity’ employer programme also lends support to our wider lobbying and awareness programmes that aim to remove employment barriers, which ultimately enhances opportunities for employers.
As you can imagine, we try to keep up with information, and stay abreast of various articles and information, out there in the media ether. However, the ‘Champion’ environment holds further unique value, in that it contributes actual practice and policy to drive a continuous improvement programme for age diversity values in the work-place. Such an environment gives ‘Champions’ direct value and access to best practice and governance that is tried, tested and made available across the whole ‘Champion’ group.
Quite often in the media, we see diversity discussed under the following headings, so I thought I’d borrow these headings to outline some further (more practical) value examples in each area, to show how employers can benefit and attain value from engagement with the ‘Champion Age Diversity’ programme.
Education and skills – the older demographic is still a largely untapped resource, but we offer a direct conduit to skilled and experienced people.
We also support internal induction and on-boarding programmes, as well as providing access to professional training programmes, including graduate apprenticeships, that can be specifically designed as required.
A common area of interest for employers, is how to roll out age diversity values through the management structure. ‘Champions’ can benefit from on-site support to ensure managers and group leaders adopt and engage best age diversity practice. Successes gained here, can also have a very positive impact to internal values, and how all staff members, whatever their age, can be seen as valued employees across the management and peer structure (this value could also be placed under the Workplace Culture heading below).
‘Champion’ employers can also gain advantageous value when bidding on contracts and/or procuring services, by demonstrating strong and diverse recruitment behaviours.
Workplace culture – to instil a vision of a multi-generational workforce is a key element of the ‘Champion Age Diversity’ criteria, and support and training is available for implementation and best practice.
‘Champions’ are also able to evaluate the social value impact and positive outcomes of consolidating the age profile across other areas of diversity and inclusion. Age is the only common diversity standard that supports activities and results of the whole inclusion agenda, including goals and objectives for gender balance and LGBT priorities.
Career progression – another regular area of feedback is where we hear of individuals being overlooked for promotion, based purely on age. The ‘Champions’ criteria presents opportunities for employers to continue personal development plans to ensure that all employees, whatever their age, have the skills to do the best job for the employer.
It also acts as a positive motivator for the employee, and the combination of a well-trained and motivated employee, generally results in higher performance and productivity levels. There’s a saying isn’t there(?)….”invest to develop your people and they might leave…..if you don’t provide investment and development opportunities….they will definitely leave!”
Retention of staff is another key element to the ‘Champions’ criteria. Look after your staff, as they may take their skills and assets to another employer, and more than likely, a competitor! ‘Champions’ can benefit from re-deployment and transition programmes that protects knowledge and know-how, whilst maintaining and sustaining intellectual property for the benefit of the organisation.
So, a question I get, is…”Why should we be ‘Champions’…what do we get?”
Well, the simple answer, is actually a return question…”Are you serious about tackling age diversity challenges, and do you want to make a difference?”
If you are, then the ‘Champion Age Diversity’ is the strategic and practical vehicle for your organisation. Not only does being a ‘Champion’ support the drive towards solutions for the global age diversity challenges. A ‘Champion’ can also gain tremendous tangible and intangible value and benefit from a wide-ranging set of criteria and activities.
Are you serious about diversity and do you want to make a difference? Together we can ‘Champion Age Diversity’!
Steve Anderson, Founder/Prime Candidate Social Enterprise