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© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 1 Age Management/ ”Age-awareness Leadership” – offensive approach in practice Barbro Skoglund Age Management i Sverige AB- AMSAB® www.agemanagement.se
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 2 Our background –25 years of experience each from managing changes in large, public organisations –Senior Consultants and Advisors since ten years –Introducing Age Management in Sweden starting January 2001 Numerous discussions with Swedish employers and and labour unions Seminars, speeches and presentations Multiyear cooperation with Vattenfall AB including –Guidelines for Age Management training –Information to target group 57+ Three major documented interventions; Age Management programmes –Municipality (education, social services, cleaning staff, janitors); 2002- 2003 –County council (health care, cleaning staff, janitors); 2003-2004 –Vattenfall Service Nord AB (linemen); 2005-2007 and ff
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 3 Our role.. ”There is frequently a conflict between scientific demands and for a nuanced view and practitioners´ need for simple and direct information” “.. but the information can provoke interest outside the academic world if it is translated into a more popular form” “Hence the need for translators who can draw conclusions that are useful to practitioners” Elisabeth Lagerlöf, former director of NIVA
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 4 Two demographic challenges 1.How to organise work in view of an ageing work force and thus increased individual differences in work ability? 2.How to ensure a systematic transfer of knowledge and experience before large waves senior employees reach retirement age?
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 5 The population EU-perspective 2005- 2030 1 6-64 age range decreases with 20 million people 55-64 age range increases with 14 million people
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 6 The population pyramid – no longer a pyramid! Sweden 2006
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 7 Age Management – the role model “Age Management is probably the most powerful tool for improvement of the work ability of older workers” “Foremen supervisors and managers need training” Promotion of Work Ability During Ageing (Ilmarinen, Rantanen 1999)
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 8 Age Management – our basic strategies before the interventions The principles of Age Management are valid for all companies, organisations and branches but has to be applied …. –in a unique way, based on local conditions –not only in a proper way but also at the right time –only when top management is willing to take the lead
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 9 Age Management – our basic strategies before the interventions Age Management should be part of overall programmes and strategies for Management and Business development –Not an isolated tool or a “project” Important to prevent negative reactions from younger employees to Age Management ; everybody will benefit from, even though 50+ have most to gain
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 10 Age Management – our basic strategies before the interventions Age Management is simple in theory. Attitudes, values and facts about 50+ can be presented and understood during a two day seminar but… –The challenge, as in all management, is to practice theory in reality on an every day basis –The application will take resources and – above all – time; “blood, sweat and tears” –No easy victory - long time goals and commitments as foundation for sustainable success
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 11 Age Management/ “Age-awareness Leadership” in practice– the BCS-method® A study of corporate attitudes and values; interviewing staff and managers; “Obstacles and possibilities” Dialog seminars for Top Management; strategy for evidence based management Training middle/ first line managers –Dialog seminars –Professional support and mentorship “Lectures of inspiration”; all employees The principles of “ Age-awareness Leadership” is integrated with corporate policies and guidelines (training and recruitment policies, management philosophy etc) Our own conclusions and recommendation for future company actions
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 12 The Vattenfall commitment ”The age pyramid in the company shows that many skilled employees are approaching retirement age.There is a clear risk that their knowledge will not be transferred to younger employees before they leave the company” Vattenfall CEO Lars G. Josefsson, 2001
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 13 Managers opinions Vattenfall Service Nord AB Extremely worthwhile. This concept is very good. Clearly relevant to the operation.Acquired a good toolbox to use during goal- setting conferences, information etc. This is a key to our continued work with the shift in generations. Absolutely a step in the leader's obligation to the company, in both economic and human terms. As an entrepreneur you have to use personnel and equipment in the most effective and humane manner possible.Wearing people out entails human suffering and high costs. The personnel became involved, gaining information and insight into the issues. An example: A 60 year old who does not want to retire might stop working because of pressure from others.You have to »make room« for younger employees.This insight among employees generates understanding for why older employees remain on the job. It becomes accepted to keep working.
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 14 Managers opinions Vattenfall Service Nord AB I received help making a plan, which will now be converted into practice. Applying the plan in the shop will also be a challenge. We’ve used this knowledge in target-setting conferences. One older employee was allowed more flexible working hours. As a result, his short-term sickness absence disappeared. Discussing the issues was great.You learn quite a bit that you don't think about otherwise. Younger employees assume increasing responsibility during the shift in generations because their self-confidence and expertise is reinforced We've thought about a bunch of these questions, but haven't actually had a toolbox before.
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 15 Vattenfall Service Nord AB ”The Age-awareness Leadership has given us more satisfied personnel and we have increased our production and profit” –Managing Director Fredrik Holmgren
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 16 A scientific evaluation - The Municipality The Managers received skills that would make it easier for them to identify the needs and qualifications of older workers Even though the training had a focus on older workers (45+), it will not only be beneficial for this group. Many of the managers foresee that the principle of Age Management can be applied for all employees, regardless of age
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 17 A scientific evaluation - The Municipality Managers testified that the training has given them arguments to fight early retirements. This can surely help motivate older workers to stay longer in work life All the interviewed managers expressed that the mentorship programme had been very valuable. It had strengthened them as individuals as well as managers The staff of the managers confirmed that the managers did practice Age Management in reality. Positive effects were noted related to work environment and rehabilitation
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 18 A scientific evaluation - The Municipality The intervention has been effective Middle managers have gained knowledge useful for them in their role as managers The managers are using their knowledge and insights in practice and will also use them in the future
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 19 Our experiences Objections and obstacles you might face Lack of commitment from Top Management in reality “Older employees should not be granted any favours” “We don’t have a problem with attitude towards 50+. Older staff are not discriminated in our company” “Let people retire early – they deserve it. Besides, many of them cannot cope with the demands of modern working life” “Younger persons do need the job. They will also be more flexible, open to change and willing to adopt new methods, especially IT” The call for “check-lists” and “quick fixes” The need for very individual solutions; reactions of “unfairness”
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 20 Our experiences The Possibilities Managers react very positively to the knowledge-based training –A strong and realistic understanding for the necessity of successful Age-awareness Leadership –A clear willingness to apply in practice at the work place Managers values and attitudes towards ageing are of vital importance. –Increased knowledge and competence about the relationship between ageing and work ability is the key to create a more open and positive attitude Managers need training and support to practice Age-awareness Leadership in their own way –It must be useful for them in their daily management –It sometimes takes time and patience but can also offer rather immediate results Staff as well as labour unions react very positive to the concept of Age-awareness Leadership
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 21 Age Management/ Ageawareness Leadership – our basic strategies after the interventions It is of crucial importance how and by whom the Ageawareness Leadership is launched within the company/organisation Managers are pragmatic, they will use information and knowledge that can be of practical use in their daily leadership Managers are very interested in a more evidence based management
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 22
© AMSAB® BS, Valencia, September 2008 23 Thank you for listening! Barbro Skoglund AgeManager® www.agemanagement.se
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