WASHINGTON—Today, AARP released a new survey revealing global executives’ thinking about the rapidly-aging workforce. Among the findings: 83% of global business leaders recognize that multigenerational workforces are key to growth and long-term success of their companies. Conducted in the fall of 2019 and the spring of 2020, the study surveyed nearly 6,000 employers in 36 countries. More than 70% of survey data were collected during the pandemic, a time when millions of older workers in the U.S. and elsewhere are unemployed, furloughed or facing uncertainty in their careers.
“As people live longer, healthier lives, they’re also working longer – a long-term trend that presents a great opportunity for employers and people of all ages to reimagine what it means to earn and learn over a lifetime,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “Research shows that age-diverse workforces have a positive effect on employee engagement, productivity and the bottom line. It is heartening to see that business leaders around the world recognize this value, even as we’ve been concerned the pandemic could fuel ageism.”
The survey found that over half (53%) of the employers surveyed do not yet include age as a factor in their company’s diversity and inclusion policies. However:
- 70% favor taking steps to promote unbiased recruitment practices,
- Three in four (74%) would provide training and lifelong learning opportunities for older employees,
- Two in three (68%) would purposefully design mixed-aged teams to leverage the advantages that both younger and older employees bring to the table, and
- Over half (54%) are providing more flexible work arrangements, including teleworking.
The survey is a continuation of the work of the Living, Learning, and Earning Longer Collaborative Initiative, a partnership between AARP, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the World Economic Forum. The Initiative was launched in 2019 to identify, share, and promote inclusive multigenerational workplace practices from around the world.
This survey was fielded to 5,998 employers across 36 OECD nations over two waves of data collection and represents only the responses of those employers surveyed. The first wave of data was collected from 1,760 employers in October and November of 2019. The second wave of data came from 4,238 employers in April and May of 2020. Each survey was completed by an upper-level human resources employee or executive.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.