Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

How to get the best value from an ageing workforce

October 4, 2016

I spend a high proportion of my time speaking to and hoping to inspire the younger generation.

But last Thursday I joined two organisations to talk about another opportunity…

The Global Coalition on Ageing (GOAC) and the Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship (GIEE) had pulled together a number of key employers, policy makers, researchers and politicians at Oxford University to discuss how we can re-engineer the 21st-century workforce.

A massive opportunity…

During the event my eyes were opened to some of the enormous business opportunities an ageing population brings.

Did you know that by 2020 the number of people over 60 across the world will hit 1 billion? And that during the same time period the spending power of that age group will be $15 trillion?

This is a huge market for companies to go after and a significant business development opportunity.

The companies who still have employees in this age bracket will be the ones who will truly hit the sweet spot for this discerning market.

One of my favourite movies, ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’, earned $136.8 million on a budget of just $10 million.

Why? Because it resonated with people of all ages. And with lines like “At my age I don’t even buy green bananas”, it particularly chimes with those of the older generation!

The importance of an inter-generational workforce

The advantages of diverse teams extend to both ends of the employment age spectrum.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel provided a couple of examples where the combination of youth and experience produced brilliant outcomes, and there is a growing feeling in the business world that we need to drive the inter-generational workforce as a new competitive advantage.

Thursday’s workshop included a statistic that organisations who build multi-generational teams increase their productivity by 20%.

Experience is our greatest natural asset – and it’s always growing!

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