Proposal for Little Whinging Research Paper

Pages: 7 (2782 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Careers

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] g., walking classes during lunch breaks, scheduling after work yoga or other exercise classes for employees, etc.). The city can also maintain an ongoing public promotion campaign designed to get everyone involved in healthier lifestyles and to target such a program specifically at individuals over the age of 40. Incentives can be offered for involvement in community exercise programs, weight loss programs, etc.

Specific Interventions at Work

The city of Little Whinging can develop and fund programs for local businesses that can concentrate on four areas that will allow elderly workers to experience conditions at work that will assist them to remain in the workforce longer (Ilmarinen, 2001): (1) train managers and supervisors in age management, (2) consulting with businesses to ensure that the working environment is ergonomically appropriate for older workers, (3) due to older workers' tendencies not to volunteer for new training implementing tailored training in newer technology/methods, and (4) the implementation of worksite exercise programs consistent with the aforementioned discussion of health in the elderly. The city can offer tax incentives or other incentives to businesses that get involved in these programs.

A training program for managers should include methods to allow more autonomy in decision-making for older more experienced workers, offer them flexible work schedules if needed, develop methods to increase social interaction between management and workers as well as between the workers themselves, instruct managers on how to make jobs more ergonomically friendly, and develop strong bonds of attachment for management and the workplace in general. The consultant team would consist of a psychologist, occupational physician, and environmental engineer. Such a program would include general overall interventions and tailored interventions targeted at specific jobs and workers.

In order to improve the effectiveness of such a program it would be advantageous to integrate as many of these actions as possible. For example De Boer, Van Beek, Durinck, Verbeek, and Van Dijk (2004) randomly assigned workers over the age of 50 who reported that they would not be able to work to their retirement age for various reasons to a control group or an intervention group that included the construction of a detailed action plan, consultation with the employee's supervisors and personnel managers, and if needed a referral to a physician or psychologist. The action plan focused on aspects that should be changed in order to enable the employee to remain working. An occupational physician conferred with the employee's supervisors to assist in the plan during three consultations. After six months results indicated that significantly fewer employees in the intervention group and retired than in the control group, the intervention group took significantly fewer sick days than the control group, and employees in the intervention group reported less burnout and better quality of life than the employees in the control group. The intervention was not continued and at a two-year follow up these differences were no longer evident indicating the need for an ongoing program. Other current models for developing strategies to keep workers in the workforce longer can be found in IImarinen (2001) and Beier and Kanfer (2013).

Caution

While the incentive to implement these interventions are to benefit older workers it is important to remember that if individuals believe that specific interventions/programs at work are designed to exploit them in any way they are less likely to engage in them (see Cummings & Worley, 2014 for a discussion on this). For instance, if the aforementioned interventions were presented in a manner that indicates that they are designed to keep older employees in the workforce longer, it is very possible that this would be perceived as an exploitation of the workforce by management. It is important to remember that the goal is to increase the satisfaction and health of the workers and not to increase work production or some other facet of the company that can be perceived as exploitive on the part of the worker. Therefore, targeting only elderly workers for these interventions could be interpreted as exploitive as well as discriminatory.

The programs should be made available to all workers of all ages and can highlight or emphasize the benefits of the programs to more experienced or older workers, but should not be presented as specifically targeting any particular group. Both interventions should be presented with the understanding that they are designed to improve the health and longevity of all workers and to improve the worker's experience in the workplace and give workers input into how the company is run as opposed to being presented as ways that will benefit management, increase work output without offering extra incentive, or to benefit corporate stockholders at the expense of the workers.

Conclusions

Given the expected increase in the number of older workers in the workforce it is important to ensure that these workers are able to continue working effectively and are satisfied with their work experience until they are ready and able to retire. By implementing programs to increase the health of workers and to get workers involved in the management and everyday operations of the company all workers can benefit and continue to make contributions to the community as well as having a higher quality of life and experiencing improved satisfaction with both their employment and personal lives.

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2006). Retirement and retirement intentions. Canberra: Author.

Beier, M.E., & Kanfer, R. (2013). Work performance and the older worker. Sage Handbook on Aging, Work, and Society, 16, 65-97.

Center for Disease Control. (2012). Older employees in the workplace. In National Center for chronic disease prevention and health promotion. Retrieved September 25, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/nationalhealthyworksite/docs/issue_brief_no_1_older_employees_in_the_workplace_7-12-2012_final508.pdf.

Cummings, T., & Worley, C. (2014). Organization development and change. Stanford, CT:

Cengage Learning.

De Boer, A.G.E.M., Van Beek, J.C., Durinck, J., Verbeek, J.H.A.M., & Van Dijk, F.J.H.

(2004). An occupational health intervention programme for workers at risk for early retirement; a randomised controlled trial. Occupational and Environmental medicine, 61(11), 924-929.

Davis, N.C., & Friedrich, D. (2004). Knowledge of aging and life satisfaction among older adults. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 59(1),

43 -- 61.

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Comparison of two health-promotion programs for older workers. American journal of public health, 101(5), 883-890.

Ilmarinen, J.E. (2001). Aging workers. Occupational and environmental medicine, 58(8), 546-

Jackson, N., Walter, M., Felmingham, B. & Spinaze, A. (2006). Will older workers change their retirement plans in line with government thinking? A review of recent literature on retirement intentions. Australian Labour Bulletin, 32(4), 315-344.

National Heart Foundation of Australia. (2006). Physical activity and health ageing. Retrieved September 25, 2014, from http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/GP-Physical-activity-and-healthy-ageing.pdf.

Nied, R.J., & Franklin, B. (2002). Promoting and prescribing exercise for the elderly. American Family Physician, 65(3), 419-426.

Patrickson, M. & Ranzijn, R. (2004). Bounded choices in work and retirement in Australia.

Employee Relations, 26(4), 422-432.

Phillipson, C., & Smith, A. (2005). Extending working life: A review of the research literature

(Vol. 299). Leeds, UK: Corporate Document Services.

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24(1), 119-138.

Shacklock, K. (2006). Extended working lives? The meaning of working to older university workers in Australia. Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 6(2-4), 161-173.

Shea, G.F., & Haasen, A. (2006). The older worker advantage: Making the most of our aging workforce. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Special Committee on Aging (2008). Report of the Taskforce on the Aging of the American

Workforce. Retrieved on September 24, 2014 from http://www.doleta.gov/reports/final_taskforce_report_2_27_08.pdf.

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Watt, L.M.,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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