The impact of an ageing population on the economy will be significant. Each productive worker will need to support a higher number of retirees and welfare recipients. Retirees will find that access to age pensions will become more difficult. Businesses will also feel the impact. For some, there will be opportunities for growth, but in general there will be a tightening labour market and increased competition to find competent staff. This will inevitably lead to salary increases required to attract and retain qualified people.
We advise businesses to undertake some long term planning, preparing for change over the next decade. Start now and be prepared to invest in your key people.
Be aware of market rates being paid for qualified staff and don’t let your salaries fall behind. It will always be cheaper to retain good staff than to replace them. Add incentives for staff loyalty including long service bonuses and profit share. Be flexible in working hours and locations.
Implement regular performance reviews. Career path planning is important for motivated people. Today’s organisations are leaner and flatter therefore regular reviews help people to investigate and understand the opportunities within your organisation. This will reduce the need for them to look outside in pursuit of an attractive career path.
Be prepared to hire staff who may be past retirement age. Australia has a very low percentage of over 55s in the workforce. With increased pressures on retirement funds and the need for skills in the workplace, it makes sense to retain people in the workforce longer.
Invest in training. It will get increasingly difficult to find people with the exact skill set for the position. However, if employees are willing to learn, skills can be taught by your existing staff or an outside organisation. Businesses that are willing to invest in training are also more attractive to potential employees.