How to deal with longer working lives: a human resources perspective

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CSR Europe, the European business network on corporate social responsibility, is currently leading a project to help companies integrate age management in their human resources policies. This project has just developed a self-assessment tool to support companies’ effort in that field.

The workforce of European companies is getting older. How can they ensure their workforce is able to cope with future challenges? Demographic change is pushing companies to think about age management in their human resources processes. This implies not only to focus on older workers, but to rethink the way companies consider careers and the evolution of employees over a lifespan. CSR Europe, the European business network on corporate social responsibility is currently leading a project to think about these aspects and has just presented a first result of this research: a self-assessment tool for companies that can help them to start thinking about age management within their company.

The assessment tool is a first outcome of this private-sector initiative. The following steps will be a set of country workshops to exchange on good practices and to look for solutions that companies commonly face. During the whole project, starting in December 2011 and running until December 2015, CSR Europe will also zoom into some national and European developments with regard to ageing and define policy recommendations and continue de dialogue with the European Commission.

The assessment tool asks questions articulated around four major human resources processes: (1) workforce assessment, (2) career and skills development, (3) Workplace adaptation, (4) Mobility and flexibility. CSR Europe conducts the assessments through direct interviews with HR Managers of companies, compiling a scoreboard on which companies can confidentially compare themselves against peers and the best in class. So far, 12 companies have been evaluated. The evaluations will continue, but the project will further analyse the changes that are needed in order to deal with an older workforce, not only on company-level, but also in legislation.

The project has already published a first guidance document on the challenges that demographic change poses and how human resources management can respond to this. AGE is a partner in this project and follows the developments and good practice.

Responsible at AGE: Philippe Seidel, Policy officer, <>
For questions on the project: Sarah Dekkirche, Operations Manager, <>

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