Only 16% of older workers would be uncomfortable being managed by someone younger than themselves

Only a minority of people over the age of 55 reported being uncomfortable being managed by someone younger (16%), older (7%) or the same age (8%), adding to the growing body of evidence that older workers can be a valuable, flexible resource in multi-generational teams. This is according to findings from a YouGov survey of over 1000 workers commissioned by Business in the Community (BITC), released today.

Understanding the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population is vital for the UK in order to create productive, innovative and inclusive multi-generational teams as the population leads longer working lives. BITC has recently published a Mid-Life MOT toolkit to help address this need.

Employers and workers need to adapt to a multigenerational approach to stay innovative in the future. Some older workers may feel pressured to make themselves appear younger for fear of losing out at work, and there’s a risk of a growing generation gap. Meanwhile, if employers fail to retain and retrain older workers they face increasing recruitment costs and miss out on the benefits of diverse teams enriched by experience.

Anne Willmot, age campaign director at Business in the Community, said:

“Employers can now have up to five generations working together in the same workplace and we’re keen to support businesses every step of the way to meet their needs of every employee, regardless of their age.  Businesses need to take action now as by 2022 there will be 800,000 older workers and 300,000 fewer 16-24 year olds entering the workplace and we are working with companies across the UK to ensure age does not limit an employee's success in the workplace.

“Older workers offer a wealth of skills, knowledge, networks and experience that employers benefit from and age-inclusive teams have been shown to increase productivity and customer satisfaction. Effective interventions include support to build employee retention in later life, such as Mid-Life MOTs, and bias-proofing management processes, including recruitment, redundancy and training. Now’s the time to start a real national conversation on age between employees and managers.”
Media contact
Cathy Beveridge, media and external affairs manager, Business in the Community, Mobile: 07776181945 Email:
Link to Centre for Ageing Better report
About Business in the Community
Business in the Community is the oldest and largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. We were created nearly 40 years ago by HRH The Prince of Wales to champion responsible business.
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