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30 Jun 2023
by Ryan Exley

Meaningful data is needed to support the ageing workforce, says IOSH’s Ryan Exley

The wellbeing of older workers can be enhanced if meaningful employee data is available, says Ryan Exley, occupational safety and health specialist at the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Meaningful data is needed to support the ageing workforce, says IOSH’s Ryan Exley.jpg


Organisations should ensure that older workers, over the age of 60, are not neglected from reward programmes. They need to feel heard, seen and appreciated. Older workers might be more enticed by benefits such as mentoring programmes for junior colleagues, sharing their knowledge and experiences with those who are wanting to strive towards a career. 

Flexibility and adaptability are crucial across different parts of the organisation to address work design for older workers, and professionals should consider psychological as well as physical changes as workers age. Organisations need to think beyond physical and mental wellbeing to look at the broader concept of overall wellbeing, including social, financial, career and community aspects. They need to listen, add wellbeing measurements, and share the information with the wider organisation.

While occupational safety and health professionals will not directly gather wellbeing data, they should aim to collaborate with HR and other areas of the business to collect meaningful data, such as stress-related sickness and absence data, capturing feedback on the effectiveness of wellbeing programmes or inputting into worker satisfaction surveys. 

Occupational health and safety and reward professionals can work together to ensure that wellbeing incentives are applicable to their workforce. One way to start is by carrying out a survey to gather information on individuals, which will help to find out what workers would like or are interested in. Putting wellbeing plans and reward incentives in place can build upon the overall culture of the organisation, encouraging skilled and experienced workers to feel recognised and valued, which will make them more likely to stay at the organisation.