The Importance of Valuing The Individual Who Is Willing to Work
I have a passion for helping mature individuals start businesses. Mature in Australia is defined as 45-64 years of age – what used to be the immediate pre-retirement work phase of our lives.
But a few interesting and unstoppable trends have occurred in the last few decades, and as a community, we need to start recognising these trends in order to avoid disaster.
This is a passionate call to everyone involved in business and government to consider the primary issue of productivity in work and business.
In this article, I cover three key issues we need to address.
1. Productivity doesn’t come from some magical unknown place
Productivity is the direct result of the production of each individual worker added up and calculated as a whole figure for the economy. Sure computers and automation and robots may contribute to lifting individual productivity, but overall the power comes from having as many people working productively in employment and paying taxes and contributing to the economy as possible.
2. We’re wasting experience – one mature age person at a time.
With life expectancies for men and women in Australia now well into the ’80s, we’re living longer and healthier than ever before. Research is showing people actually don’t want to retire and sit on a beach.
And most of us can’t afford long, aimless retirements that might last 30 years or more.
So when you find out that there are over one hundred thousand mature people – aged in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s who want to work but can’t find a job because of ageism, you know we have trouble brewing.
Corporate Australia must get past the ‘grey hair’ and start seriously thinking about how to offer employment to experienced and wise mature Australians.
It can’t be a situation where it takes up to two years for these people to find a job when made redundant or due to changing job circumstances.
And we can’t use the excuses of these people being tech illiterate or inflexible anymore – partly because in many cases it’s just not true and in others, we need to look at training and skills development as part of the career, not an afterthought.
3. Don’t leave young adults out.
Statistics show we’re burning the candle at both ends. Young adults are starting work later, and there are literally hundreds of thousands of young adults who are neither working or studying in Australia.
Australia really has fewer workers and taxpayers than it needs. This is why the retirement age is being put up. It’s why there is an investment in helping mature people.
But we need to be looking at all age groups for what they can contribute and ensure there is enough work and jobs for now, as well as for the future.
This may seem like a political rant, but it’s not. Every small business owner needs to be aware of the changing demographics of our economy – we need to be looking at how we can impact the employment of the right people to do work in our businesses – making opportunity for young and old to contribute – to be productive personally and to contribute to collective economic production.
Small business is seen as the engine of the economy for a reason – it’s a big employer, and contributes to the financial well being and security of a lot of people.
And each small business plays a part in this. Your role as a business owner is more than the products and services you make. You’re a leader in this.
So what issues can you impact? What is your legacy beyond your product and services? How can you increase the productivity of your staff and your business? How will you say you helped?
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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