AARP International

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Why it matters

Flexible work enables employees to effectively manage their work-life responsibilities, leading to better outcomes in both spheres.

83% of global companies reported an improvement in employee productivity after adopting flexible work policies and 61% reported a rise in profits.1

Intergenerational mentorship creates meaningful work opportunities for employees.

Workers who regularly help others find more meaning in their work.2 Members of a multigeneration workforce have plentiful opportunities to help others through intergenerational mentorship. 49% of US mentors have mentored others younger than themselves and 29% have mentored others who are older.3

Training existing employees can increase their commitment to the organization, increasing retention and saving employers the cost of hiring anew.

One in four (25%) US workers age 50+ report they would stay with their current employer longer than planned if their employer would provide and pay for more workrelated training.4

Retaining an age-diverse workforce preserves institutional knowledge.

Mature workers around the world may have social, cultural, and human knowledge that is essential to an organization’s institutional memory. The loss of institutional knowledge can lead to a lower capacity for innovation and growth, reduced efficiency, and the loss of competitive advantage.5


Evaluate the age-inclusiveness of your recruitment practices

Use the worksheet to to find out whether you have career stage gaps in your recruitment practices.6 

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Promising Practices

Learn about the innovations and practices that companies and governments around the world are implementing to harness the potential of the multigenerational workforce.

Enabling employees to support others with flexible work at any life stage.

One of Australia’s largest banks, WestPac Group, established its “All in Flex” approach to scheduling so its 40,000 employees can choose how to balance their work responsibilities with their life priorities.

Included among WestPac’s flexible working options is unpaid leave to give new grandparents up to 52 weeks to be a grandchild’s primary caregiver. Expanding existing benefits like parental leave to include a broader range of caregivers can help create a more age-inclusive organization.

Enabling employees to support others with flexible work at any life stage.

Source: Australia ARC Report, AARP 2018; “Flexible Ways of Working”, WestPac 2018

Reemploying experienced adults with learning and placement programs.

The Chilean government’s National Service of Training and Employment (SENCE) once excluded people over 65 years old in the majority of its programs.

After recognizing this gap, they partnered with the Chilean National Service for Older Persons (SENAMA) to create programs that enhance the skills and employability of experienced adults, ensure equal opportunity through labor intermediation, and facilitate experienced adults’ access to work opportunities.

Governments can help to significantly expand the workforce by investing in the older population—Chile’s training partnership has grown to reach nearly 44,000 older adults through its programs.

Source: Chile ARC Report, AARP 2018

Recapturing and training talent through returnships.

In 2008, Goldman Sachs was the first financial services firm to launch a returnship program, originally designed for women reentering the workforce after a maternity leave.

The program, similar to an internship, offers a period of guided exploration during which workers sharpen skills and ease into the work environment that likely changed while they were away. Ultimately, the concept resonated with all ages and genders wishing to retrain and reenter the workforce after a hiatus. Today, Morgan Stanley, MetLife, and Fidelity have established similar programs.

The multigenerational workers of the future will experience periods of time out of the workforce. Programs designed to facilitate reentry will benefit parents, caregivers, sick employees, and all who choose to take a leave of absence.

Source: “Good News for Job Seekers Over 50”, AARP 2018

  1. “Vodafone global survey reveals rapid adoption of flexible working.” Vodafone, 2016
  2. “Helping others increases meaningful work: Evidence from three experiments.” Journal of Counseling Psychology, 2018
  3. Mentorship and the Value of a Multigenerational Workforce. AARP, 2018
  4. Investing in Training 50+ Workers: A Talent Management Strategy. AARP, 2008
  5. Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce. Oxford University Press, 2004
  6. Creating Quality Jobs: A Framework for the Multigenerational Workforce. AARP, 2018