• Who Needs a Productivity Boost?

    When I decided to write a blog about productivity I immediately did some research on the subject. I looked at a variety of different websites and scholarly articles.

    There was article, after article on how to engage young employees. Fundamentally, I felt there was a missing element…and a vital one at that!

    Most western countries are facing a future with an ageing population who will need to work longer before being able to retire. Many of these workers are likely to need to work for far more years than they had originally planned, and generally not through their own choice. Studies also to show that productivity tends to decline as workers age. This can be a real cause for concern for us as employers, but what can we do to counteract this tendency?

    How do you motivate and help an ageing population be productive?

    A few months ago, my father-in-law, Bill, started up a new high tech electronics company. This is only notable because he is 87 years old! Bill is not alone in still working at an age where in the past he probably would have been retired. Luckily for Bill, he is a prime example of a “high skilled worker” who still works through choice and is intrinsically motivated by passion for what he does. But where does that leave “low skilled workers” or workers who are just there for the paycheck?

    To answer this, the team at Incrementa put their collective heads together.

    We believe companies need to be creative and find ways to motivate and engage with older workers. They are often overlooked gems, and the incentives that are used to great effect on younger workers just don’t apply. Most older workers aren’t going to be interested in enhancements to their career prospects or plaques or prizes. They are likely to be past the stage in their life to find such things attractive.

    However, when they show measurable improvements in productivity and good work, the reward of time off or more flexible working hours may be more motivational. Show respect for their experience and use their knowledge by involving them in significant projects. It is in each company’s best interest to look for incentives that meet the need of each individual, rather than following a one size suits all program.

    It is up to us as employers and leaders to inspire and motivate our entire workforce, not just the chosen superstars of our business. When all employees, no matter their age, are focused on the company goals and are highly engaged in wanting the company to succeed… then high productivity levels will automatically follow.

    Ralph is a detail-oriented leader who gets things done. As a partner at Incrementa Consulting, he ensures there are no gaps in which execution can fail. You can connect with Ralph on Twitter or read more of his thoughts on the Incrementa website.

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