Discuss about The Willingness of Young People to Work with Older People.
Earlier Australia was comparatively a youthful country. Statistics say that in the time of 1970 to 1971, 30% of the entire population was aged 15 years or younger, whilst by the end of 2002, this reported proportion had significantly dropped to 22% (Kulik et al. 2014). Reports say that in the coming 40 years, the quantity of the aged population above 65 years would roughly double to near about 25% (Morgan et al. 2012). Not only is that, at the similar time, the expansion in the population of the conventional labor force age expected to gradually slow to almost zero. Bit can be stated that barring an unprecedented modification in the rate of fertility, the age arrangement of the population is likely to become stable with a fair higher amount of older Australians. It is regardless to mention that ageing population of Australia are gradually providing several challenges to the concerned governments, however, the pool of very experienced employees provides chances as well.
Maddox (2013) has stated that, the global concern regarding the growing impact of the ageing population on the productivity of the workplace and on the budgets of welfare has significantly led to a wide range of government aided and supported measures that has the intention to retain as well as up-skill the older employees. Therefore, it has always been a consistent theme of research work that the older employees are of two minds in nature about supporting such training. Research says that the aged population care centre is one of the highly regulated concerns in Australia, though there a controversy exists over the requirement of such regulations that protect the residents (Hilton 2014). This particular research work has tried to analyze the willingness to participate of the university students to the older Australians along with their interest to work with them. It has already been observed that the population of Australia would age markedly over the next 40 years time. This is entirely because of increased permanence and lower rate of fecundity with the latter dating from the conclusion of post World War II baby boom over 40 years ago. Therefore, this huge aging population would undoubtedly leave impact on the Australian economy and dealing with this concern is one of the major parts of government agenda. The young generation of Australia is expected to work with this aging population and for that purpose; a thorough research would be conducted.
From the previous discussion, it has been already found that aging Australians is one of the major issues of Australia and to gain an in-depth knowledge on this topic, a thorough research work would be conducted. The research work would try to get data on the part that whether the young Australians are interested enough to work with the aged Australians or not along with their willingness to participate in work with them.
This particular research work would try to shed on the following objectives:
- To evaluate the issues related to aging population in Australia
- To recognize the challenges faced by the government in handling the aging population of Australia
- To analyze the importance of participation of the university students to work with the aging population
- To provide some effective recommendations to deal with the addressed situation carefully, so that the university students feel more interested to work with the aging population in Australia
Ageing Australian Population
In the first chapter it is already discussed that Australian population is ageing significantly. However, the reasons were not discussed. According to Kulik et al. (2014), there are mainly two reasons behind this situation. Firstly, Australian families are, on average, having lesser number of children. Since 1960, birth rates started to decline. In the last 20 years birth rate has fallen below the substitution rate that means without immigration Australian Government will not be able to maintain the country’s population (Morgan et al. 2012). However, in order to change the situation, the Government has introduced several changes in taxes and has provided benefits to assist families. Recently, the Government has decided to improve the level of assistance so that parents can have maximum choices in balancing work and family responsibilities.
Figure 1: Projected population age structure of Australia
(Source: Maddox, 2013)
Some have stated that immigration can solve the problem of ageing population of Australia. As mentioned by (Skirbekk et al. 2013), migrants are mostly of workforce age and will support to keep up workforce growth. On the other hand, if migrants are skilled, they will improve normal skill levels and productivity. However, (Aaron 2014) stated that only migration cannot solve this problem as migrants who will come to Australia will age along with the rest of the population. He also mentioned that, in order to maintain ageing balance in Australia, the Government will have to allow larger and larger immigration each year. In order to compress the ageing of those migrants, the Government will have to allow more immigration. In the end it will remain as a never ending process which will not solve the ageing problem and will create new problems.
Aged workforce in Australia
According to Bloom et al. (2015), as ageing population is increasing in Australia, the workforce of the country is also ageing. He argued that as the workforce ageing, it is not a big problem for the company as currently heavy works are done by machines mostly. Therefore, age does not matter. He also mentioned that ageing people are more loyal to their employers and will stay longer with an organization. They are less likely to be absent from the work. A research also supports his arguments as it shows that ageing employees experience minimum number of workplace accidents. However, Rowland (2012) said that these advantages are not enough to stop worrying about ageing populating in workforce. In the current business world, innovation and technology is the primary base of success. Without innovative ideas and technical knowledge it is almost impossible to work properly. Ageing people are less likely to learn about new technologies that are being introduced almost daily. They will not be able to cope up with the speed. Besides, young employees are more likely to develop new productive ideas than ageing employees. However, it is true that ageing employees will have the experience to deal with any problem (Zwick 2015). On the other hand it is also true that young people will try to use creative ideas to deal with a problem which might become the best way to eliminate such a problem. They will be flexible and will work in any working hour.
As mentioned by Walk et al. (2013), today the business world is more diverse than ever. People from different culture, background, country are race are working together. In this scenario, for older employees it would be tough to adjust. It is natural that young blood will bring fresh ideas. Many times it is seen that young people bring originality in the way business in being completed. On the other hand, young employees are also more flexible, adaptable and less resistant in any type of business environment.
However, it is also true that any business will need experience and knowledge that only ageing employees can bring (Colley 2014). Ageing employees have seen cycles of ups and downs within a business; therefore, they are experienced to handle any situation and problem with their experience. The problem when young and ageing employees work together.
Attitude of young employees on working with ageing employees
One of the biggest issues faced by the business organization is to maintain a harmony among young and ageing employees. Not only the different style of working, but also the generation gap forces the issue of conflict among young and older employees. Most of the young employees do not want to work with ageing employees (Ilmakunnas and Ilmakunnas 2014). However, it is also seen that younger employees are happily working with the ageing employees as ageing employees are providing ideas and way to complete a task easily. Main reasons that young employees do not want to work with ageing employees are hereby mentioned below,
Different work culture:
Corporate work related training systems are introduced in recent years. Before that, workers used to gather work related knowledge by working in several organizations. On the other hand, with the help of several training institutes, young employees know what they need to do even before starting to work (Schubert and Andersson 2015). Therefore, young employees are much more professional and follow a different path while dealing with a job. On the other hand, ageing employees will follow the path that gave them success in the past. Now, young employees might not accept those paths as those might include a lot of risk and uncertainty.
In today’s business world, competition is fierce. It is obvious that younger employees will hard to get promotions, bonus and other benefits in order to make progress in the workplace. On the other hand, ageing employees are over it and will work to maintain is job until retirement. Therefore, work speed and working energy will not be same (Tenhiälä et al. 2013)..
Nowadays, risk assessment is a major factor in every business organization. Before implementing any plan, management develops a backup plan in order to minimize the effects of a hazard that might occur in the future for the initial plan. Young generation employees are quite familiar with this risk assessment system. However, older employees do not have the habit to prepare risk assessment plan. They complete jobs based on their experience and knowledge. Therefore, a sense of conflict is again there.
On the other hand, in today’s business culture, innovation is the most necessary skill set. Companies such as Apple and Google are successful only because of their innovative ideas. Therefore, other companies are also recruiting candidates who like to use innovative ideas to complete same task differently in order to gain best possible results (Colley 2014). However, older employees do not like to use innovation. They mostly follow traditional way of working and always maintain the same format and path while doing a similar job. Therefore, the chances are low that better results will be gained. This is another reason that young employees do not want to work with older employees.
Advantages of working with older employees
In spite of several disadvantages, there are some advantages of working with older employees. Some of those advantages are hereby mentioned below.
Sometimes innovative ideas fail to complete a complex project. At that time, employees try to find data about any similar project from the organization’s data base. It is obvious that this process takes a lot of time (Rowland 2012). If an ageing employee is in the team, it is natural that he will have at least some experience about the problem. In this situation, he will be able to lead the team properly.
Success is not an easy thing to get for young employees. It is natural that in initial times, younger people will find it tough to impress its higher management in order get promotion. It is possible that those employees will feel extremely de-motivated in these situations. Reward system are there to motivate employees; however if someone who have already faced the similar situation can communicate with them, it will give them more hope than anything (Walk et al. 2013). Ageing employees have already experienced lots of ups and downs in their career; therefore, they will be able to use their work life as an example to motivate the younger employees. It is a major reason that younger people want to stick with ageing employees.
Bergh and Ketchen (2012) have said that although, it is highly imperative to conduct the longitudinal research work, the present research work would follow the cross-cultural research design because of limited budget and time. Bernard (2012) has argued in his research document that deductive and inductive are two researches approaches and based on the character of the research work, this is selected.
Among three research purposes named exploratory, explanatory and analytical, analytical research purpose has seemed to be the best suitable option for this particular research work. Explanatory research principle helps to make an association between two research variables that are there in the research theme (Onwuegbuzie and Leech 2012). Exploratory research work concentrates on gaining the background data on the research variables with the development of research work (Crouch and Pearce 2012). On the other hand, analytical research purpose focuses on conceptualizing the critical issues with the help of proper decision and thus, it has been selected here.
Crowther and Lancaster (2012) have mentioned in his research paper that there are two types of research philosophies and they are positivism and interpretivism. Positivism tries to analyze the issues of the research work depending on the real facts and figures. On the other hand, interpretivism develops the research work based on the conception of common people and thus there is a chance of misconception. Therefore, this research work has selected positivism research philosophy.
50 university students would be surveyed to fetch data on the research topic and an questionnaire would be distributed among them, so that data can be gathered. Simple random sampling technique would be followed to select the participants with the expectation that they would answer the questions without being biased (Denzin and Lincoln 2012).
In order to gain data, both the primary and the secondary sources would be used. Already published updated books, peer reviewed journals, articles and some useful websites would play the roles of secondary data sources. Along with that, data would be collected from the primary sources as well, where the university students would be asked questions, as they are directly related with the research issue (Brannen 2012).
Data collection procedure
In order to fetch quantitative data, 50 customers of a university would be surveyed and a mixed questionnaire of both open-ended and close-ended would be circled among them. This particular survey would be conducted by either personal interview or online distribution of the survey questionnaire.
The data fetched from the target participants would generally include numeric values that would be analyzed utilizing several statistical tools for getting the result. Besides the qualitative data, there would be some open-ended questions as well and this would be analyzed through the previous knowledge gained from thorough literature review (Cameron 2012).
While conducting the research, it is important to follow ethical guidelines. People who will participate in the research must not be forced to do so. They will have full authority to quit the survey at any point without providing any explanation. On the other hand, it must be ensured that survey questionnaire must not include any personal question that might offend the participants (Gajjar 2013). After conducting the research, the data will not be shared with any third party organization or people. The collected will be kept classified and only will be used for the academic purpose.
Value of the Research
Several companies of Australia including Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Woolworths, BHP Billiton and Wesfarmers are facing problems to maintain their corporate activities as a result of increased ageing population in Australia. However, the management of those organizations also understands the importance of ageing employees because of their experience. Therefore, they are trying to develop a harmony between young and old employees so that they can work together (Bloom et al. 2015). That is why; value of this study would be significant as it will help those organizations to understand what the young people of Australia think about working with older employees. In this way, those companies will be able to implement proper strategies to develop a workplace that will have both young and old employees working together.
Aaron, H.J., 2014. The fiscal challenges of population aging the contrasting cases of the United States and Japan. Public Policy Review, 10(2), pp.277-300.
Bergh, D. and Ketchen, D. J. 2012. Research methodology in Strategy and Management, 1st ed. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd
Bernard, H. R. 2012. Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. 5th ed. Plymouth: Alta Mira Press.
Bloom, D.E., Chatterji, S., Kowal, P., Lloyd-Sherlock, P., McKee, M., Rechel, B., Rosenberg, L. and Smith, J.P., 2015. Macroeconomic implications of population ageing and selected policy responses. The Lancet,385(9968), pp.649-657.
Brannen, J. 2012. ‘Prologue, mixed methods for novice researchers: reflections and themes, International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(1), 8–12.
Cameron, R. 2012. 'A sequential mixed model research design: design, analytical and display issues', International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(2), 140-152,
Colley, L., 2014. Understanding Ageing Public Sector Workforces: Demographic challenge or a consequence of public employment policy design?. Public Management Review, 16(7), pp.1030-1052.
Crouch, C. and Pearce, J. 2012. Doing Research in Design - Page 68, 2nd ed. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Crowther, D. and Lancaster, G. 2012. Research Methods, 2nd ed. London: Routledge.
Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, Y. S. 2012. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. Page 271, 4th ed. London: Sage Publications.
Ellis, T. and Levy, Y. 2012. ‘Towards a guide for novice researchers on research methodology: Review and proposed methods’, Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 6, 323-337.
Gajjar, B., 2013. Ethical consideration in research. International Journal for Research in Education, 2(7).
Hilton, D., 2014. Computational Methods in Official Statistics with an Example on Calculating and Predicting Diabetes Mellitus [DM] Prevalence in Different Age Groups within Australia in Future Years, in Light of the Aging Population. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Journal of Mathematical, Computational, Physical, Electrical and Computer Engineering, 8(10), pp.1311-1315.
Ilmakunnas, P. and Ilmakunnas, S., 2014. Age segregation and hiring of older employees: low mobility revisited. International Journal of Manpower,35(8), pp.1090-1115.
Kulik, C.T., Ryan, S., Harper, S. and George, G., 2014. Aging populations and management. Academy of Management Journal, 57(4), pp.929-935.
Maddox, G.L., 2013. The encyclopedia of aging: a comprehensive resource in gerontology and geriatrics. Springer.
Morgan, D. L. 2013 “Paradigms lost and pragmatism regained: methodological implications of combining qualitative and quantitative methods”, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(1), pp. 48-76
Morgan, T.K., Williamson, M., Pirotta, M., Stewart, K., Myers, S.P. and Barnes, J., 2012. A national census of medicines use: a 24-hour snapshot of Australians aged 50 years and older. Med J Aust, 196(1), pp.50-3.
Onwuegbuzie, A. J. and Leech, N. J. 2012. On becoming a pragmatic researcher: The importance of combining quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8, 375-387.
Rowland, D.T., 2012. Population aging: the transformation of societies (Vol. 3). Springer Science & Business Media.
Schubert, T. and Andersson, M., 2015. Old is gold? The effects of employee age on innovation and the moderating effects of employment turnover.Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 24(1-2), pp.95-113.
Skirbekk, V., Stonawski, M., Bonsang, E. and Staudinger, U.M., 2013. The Flynn effect and population aging. Intelligence, 41(3), pp.169-177.
Tenhiälä, A., Linna, A., von Bonsdorff, M., Pentti, J., Vahtera, J., Kivimäki, M. and Elovainio, M., 2013. Organizational justice, sickness absence and employee age. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 28(7/8), pp.805-825.
Walk, M., Handy, F. and Schinnenburg, H., 2013. Expectations and experiences of young employees: The case of German nonprofits.Administration in Social Work, 37(2), pp.133-146.
Zwick, T., 2015. Training older employees: what is effective?. International Journal of Manpower, 36(2), pp.136-150.