The National Care Forum’s recently published personnel survey report for 2016 has revealed a potential demographic time bomb, with a staggering 93% of Registered Managers in the care sector aged over 45 and 38% in the 55+ age group. In response to the findings, Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum, said ‘As a sector it is important that this factor is at the forefront of personnel strategies, thinking through how the needs of that workforce can best be met.’
Many employers have already begun to recognise the importance of promoting health and wellbeing amongst staff and offer greater flexibility in working patterns to support caring responsibilities but it is likely that further work will be needed to support an aging workforce, if an exodus from senior roles is to be avoided.
Vic Rayner added ‘Whilst of course, this survey highlights there is much work to be done around workforce planning for the future, particularly recognising future requirements as this portion of the workforce moves into retirement. However, there is an immediate need to apply the principles of talent management to support and sustain the high level of contribution from those aged 45 and over to the provision of excellent quality care.’
Read on to find out more about the measures your service can take to address the demographic time bomb of any aging management workforce.
The National Care Forum’s annual personnel survey provides benchmarking information for providers of care and support services across the UK, detailing staff numbers, turnover, qualification rates, sickness absence, vacancy rates, leavers and the reasons for leaving a post. Respondents range from small, individual care homes, through to large care groups employing thousands of staff. Over 70% of eligible organisations responded to this year’s survey, providing data in relation to over 68,000 staff.
Avoid Major Disruption to Your Service by Following these 3 Steps to Retain Older Managers
- Offer flexible working. Many older workers have caring roles outside work, which are difficult to balance with the responsibilities of a management role. Discuss with your managers how their working week can be adjusted to allow time for such responsibilities – an improved work/life balance is likely to lead to improved performance.
- Discuss job sharing. As managers get closer to retirement, their wish to work full-time hours may decrease but many employers continue to insist that a management role has to be on a full-time basis. Planning a job share can provide the dual benefit of allowing a staged reduction in hours and also helping with succession planning by allowing a potential future manager to share the role and receive mentorship from the current postholder.
- Consider alternative roles. Managers may not wish to remain in stressful, high-responsibility roles as they move closer to retirement, so choose to retire due to a lack of other opportunities. By discussing with older managers the opportunity to move into other roles if they wish, you allow your service to benefit from their experience whilst allowing them to transfer into a less responsible (and possibly part-time) role.