Punter Southall Aspire’s chief executive Steve Butler has co-authored a new business book, looking at how firms can support mid-life workers.
The book, Midlife Review: A guide to work, wealth and wellbeing is written with Tony Watts. It offers businesses leaders, managers and employees guidance to help them understand the specific needs of workers aged fifty-plus.
This books follows Butler’s first book, looking at the impact of an ageing population on the workforce.
Publishing the book, Butler points out that by 2025, there will be one million more people 50 and over and 300,000 fewer people 30 and under in the workplace. One in three of the working age population will be 50 or over. This presents opportunities and challenges for employees and employers as they navigate the changing demographic landscape.
The book considers both perspectives, suggesting practical ways in which SMEs can retain skills and experience in their business, and explaining to employees what they need to think about to make the most of their next career stage.
The Midlife Review unites current research with interviews from experts in their field. It offers valuable insight for leaders, managers and employees who want to:
- Understand the changing dynamic of the modern workplace
- Help midlife employees understand their retirement savings, finances and wellbeing
- Support midlife employees to plan the second phase of their career
- Structure HR process and policies to support older workers
- Successfully support older workers to reach their full potential
The book has a forward by Alistair McQueen, head of retirement savings at Aviva.
Butler says, “As our ‘working life’ is stretching out as life expectancy rises and pension provision becomes less generous, traditional career structures are fast becoming a thing of the past. For some, this provides opportunity for a richer, more fulfilling life. For others, it means juggling work with care responsibilities.
“The prospect of working for fifty to sixty years will make it more difficult to stay on one career trajectory and it is only natural that people will want to stop, re-evaluate, and take time out to pursue other interests or explore other avenues. But this throws up challenges. How will people negotiate changes with their employer or go about finding a new job after retraining in their forties or fifties, and how are they going to finance the years ahead if they are going to work less, retrain or return to study?
“At the same time, employers will need to prepare for an exodus of talent and experience, just as the pipeline of younger people coming through dwindles, and decide if recruitment strategies should change if it becomes normal for people in their forties and fifties to temporarily ‘drop out’, wind down or retrain.”
He says the book is an attempt to address these questions and issues from the perspective of both employee and employer, and uses the concept of a ‘Midlife Review’ or Midlife MOT as the conscious mechanism to stimulate a conversation between employers and their personnel to find flexible ‘win-win’ solutions.
Tony Watts – a freelance journalist and commentators adds: “For many, greater longevity and better health in later life opens up panoply of new and exciting opportunities. But the issue facing large numbers of people in midlife is some don’t want to stop work because they enjoy it, and others can’t afford to stop.
“The twin drivers for individuals – choice and necessity – are also coinciding with several imperatives for business and the state. Employers need the expertise, energy and experience of older people because fewer young people are entering the workforce and the state can’t support an ever-burgeoning retired population.”