Research: Employees aged 55+ in work life

Edenred-Ipsos Barometer 2015 researched employee well-being and motivation in Europe. One of the main areas in the research was aging employees' experiences about their situation in work life.

In Northern Europe employees aged 55 and over are almost systematically happier at work and more satisfied with respect from their employer compared to other European countries. Among all respondents, the Finns are the most satisfied with their quality of life at work. The results are part of Edenred-Ipsos Barometer 2015 which examined well-being and motivation of employees aged 55 and over in work life. In total nearly 2000 employees aged 55+ were surveyed from 14 European countries.

As the population is becoming older, more attention is paid to aging employees who already have a long career behind them. Finland participated for the first time in yearly Edenred-Ipsos Barometer, which was conducted by a global market research company Ipsos. One of the main areas of the Barometer was how aging employees experience their situation in work life.

Finnish and other Northern European employees most satisfied at work

In principle employees aged 55+ in Finland and Northern Europe are more satisfied in their work life compared to Europeans in other countries. The Finns are number one at satisfaction with their quality of life at work: even 66 % of 55+ Finns gave a grade from 8 to 10 for their quality of life (scale 1-10). Swedes take the spot number two, whereas only 23 % of the Spanish of the same age gave a good grade. The Finns are also among top countries at trust in their employer: around two thirds (65 %) of the Finns feel that their employer genuinely cares about employees’ well-being.

Employers' weaknesses: employment and skills development of 55+ employees

Among 14 respondent countries, Finland has a fifth highest employment rate 59 % for 55-64-year-old people. For example France, Austria and Poland are behind with employment rates less than 50 % for the same age group. (Eurostat, 2013*). Nevertheless, the Finns along with the French, the Italians and the Swedes are among the most dissatisfied nations regarding their employers’ measures taken for older employees’ employment. Even one third of 55+ Finns think that the measures taken are insufficient.

The Finns are also among the most dissatisfied concerning satisfaction with employer’s measures for developing and transferring skills. Almost half (44 %) of the Finns over 55 consider the measures in this field insufficient. In France the amount of dissatisfied is even higher 64 %, whereas in the top countries the Netherlands, Germany and Austria only a quarter or less regards their organization’s measures as insufficient.

Finnish employees aged 55+ still have a high motivation

Despite the development areas, 55+ Finns’ motivation is still high even though 42 % of them have already made plans for retirement, which they consider being relatively close. Up to 80 % are still motivated and 82 % feel confident when thinking of the years before retirement. However, opportunities for career development could be improved: only 37 % of 55+ Finns feel that they still have possibilities to develop. According to the results of the Barometer, the Finnish companies should pay more attention to the measures, with which the employees who already have a long career behind could stay in work life as long as possible. Offering work to motivated and experienced employees until their retirement is the first step to extending careers.

*Eurostat statistics 2013 

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