Archive for August, 2011
When Richard Branson speaks, people tend to listen. You don’t become a billionaire for nothing!
And once again he demonstrates his ‘deep smarts’ by sharing advice for promoting your business’s best asset – your experienced workers.
Q: How do you help ageing workers embrace a changing environment and adapt to new ways of doing things, and how can employers better utilize their more senior employees?
A: As an ageing worker myself, I will attempt to answer on behalf of my contemporaries.
When people ask how old I am, my favorite response is,
Younger than Mick Jagger!
No disrespect intended to Mick, who is a friend of mine, but seeing him onstage certainly shows how big a disconnect there can be between doing what you do best and acting your age.
In the business of entrepreneurship, past experience is particularly helpful, since building a business is an art. There’s really no right or wrong way to do it, but the more you practice, the more skilled you become.
Read the full response from Richard on Entrepreneur.com
A very impressive line up of speakers generously shared their time, knowledge and insights at today’s 5th annual ageing workforce conference convened by Department of Premier and Cabinet, IPAA NSW and SageCo.
With over 100 attendees and held at Customs House, the agenda explored a wide range of topics under the umbrella of ‘targeting and aligning workforce strategies’.
Peter Duncan, Deputy Director General, Government Coordination and Corporate Administration, provided the opening address, stating some of the key ageing workforce objectives as;
- greater levels of labour force participation
- continual development of mature workers
- managing the transfer of critical knowledge
- implementing talent management systems to fill capability gaps
Geoff Gilfillan from the Productivity Commission in Canberra provided an overview of the Research Paper on Labour Force Participation Rates of Women 45+ with delegates then given an opportunity to work on a hypothetical challenging them to visualise “The Year 2020″ and what it would take to achieve ‘best practice accreditation’ for the employment of mature age women.
Output from the facilitated interactive session included tailored health and wellbeing interventions for mature women; equal representation of mature women in senior leadership and executive roles; redesign of the working day and the working week (from Part Time to Part Year?!); training in non traditional roles; carers leave extended to cater for elder and grandchild caregiving; and the debate on gender bias becoming obsolete as it will be a ‘non issue’ by 2020.
Chair Alison Monroe conducted an interview with Professor Philip Taylor of Monash University to gain an international perspective on age management and a ‘judges’ view of the AARP Best Employers Award for 50+ . Philip challenged Australian employers to look again at the opportunity to train, develop and upskill mature workers to enable them to remain employable, marketable and productive.
A lively session followed presented by John Cross, Assistant Executive Director of Workforce Planning at State Services Authority VIC, who challenged some traditional views and shared with delegates his framework for robust age management and workforce planning;
- Accountability – shared between organisational leaders, frontline managers and HR
- Appetite – assessing ageing workforce challenges through the risk lens and speak the language of the business
- Design – job redesign and evolution over time, learning and development models that address future skill gaps
- Data – the role of HR in collecting, collating and communicating the data story to the business, to which John added;
look at the ripples created by the rock, not just the rock itself as it is thrown into the water!
Case Studies were shared by Hunter Water, Department of Trade and Investment NSW and National Australia Bank – with a common thread seeming to be conversations and culture.
A jam packed agenda and one that resulted in delegates walking away with new knowledge and a variety of next steps. Each continuing on their individual and organisational journey, where one size does not fit all.
On Monday, the Gillard Government announced the appointment of the Hon Susan Ryan AO as Australia’s inaugural Age Discrimination Commissioner.
In her new position of Age Discrimination Commissioner, Ms Ryan will be a dedicated advocate not only for older Australians, but also young people who might be affected by age discrimination
said Attorney-General Robert McClelland upon announcing the appointment.
Ryan is the independent chair of the IAG & NRMA Superannuation Plan, as well as honourary chair of the Australian Human Rights Group and ambassador to WomenAid Australia.
Ryan says her track record in the area of gender discrimination gives her confidence things will change, in legislation, culture and the workplace. On a personal note Ryan adds;
I’m 68 and want to hit the ground running!
Ryan takes the baton from Elizabeth Broderick, who has been at the forefront of keeping age discrimination issues firmly on the agenda.