Later Life Work Index (LLWI)

Within our aging societies later life work is on the rise in most developed countries and organizational practices are important for its successful implementation. The European Commission (2015) projects a 30% increase among European employees aged 55 to 64 between 2013 and 2030. The increase in mainly driven by demographic change, but also by increased labor market participation rates of older employees - including workers in retirement age. This effect is further accelerated by increasing standard retirement ages in many European countries. In parallel, skilled labor force shortages affect key industries, challenging organizations in terms of recruitment, succession planning and knowledge retention. Moreover, later life work has been found to support health and well-being on the individual level (e.g., Behncke, 2012; Dingemans & Henkens, 2015) as well as relieve social systems on the societal level. It is hence in the interest of both, economy and society, to retain the job performancemotivation, and health of older employees.

Organizational HR and management practices have been shown to positively affect successful employment of older employees in many domains (e.g., Kunze, Boehm, & Bruch, 2011). While much research has been carried out on the individual antecedents and preferences for older employees and post-retirement work in recent years (e.g., Fasbender, Deller, Wang, & Wiernik, 2014; Templer, Armstrong-Stassen, & Cattaneo, 2010), it is not yet understood, how successful employment of older employees can be enabled from an organizational perspective per­spec­tive (Boehm, Kunze, & Bruch, 2014). Research has revealed many individual levers, e.g. an organizational climate and leadership style supporting older employees, flexible work ar­ran­ge­ments, occupational healthcare or a pur­po­se­ful knowledge transfer (e.g., Kooij, Jansen, Dikkers, & de Lange, 2014). However, organizations still lack a well-foun­ded self-as­sess­ment tool to assess their readiness for an aging workforce and to de­ri­ve pos­si­ble cour­ses of ac­tion (Henkens et al., 2018; Truxillo, Cadiz, & Hammer, 2015). Moreover, it is not yet investigated and understood, which organizational practices drive older employees’ performance, motivation, and health most.

Wöhrmann, Deller and Pundt (2018) hence propose the Later Life Work Index (LLWI) to sys­te­ma­ti­cal­ly de­scri­be suc­cess­ful working con­di­ti­ons for ol­der em­ployees and to com­pa­re or­ga­niza­t­i­ons re­gar­ding their prac­tices for an aging workforce. The index aims to serve as a free tool for self-assessment within organizations and benchmarking among peers on industry and regional level.

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