Workplace wellbeing increases with age

A new survey suggests that workplace satisfaction – like red wine – gets better with age. A survey of over 10,000 people from 131 countries found that older employees were much more satisfied with their working lives.

 This is an edited version of an article that first appeared on the Workplace Insight website.

Older employees are likely to enjoy improved wellbeing, according to a new study from The Myers-Briggs Company. The research claims that workplace wellbeing progressively increases with age. The study also found that workplace relationships are one of the most important elements of personal wellbeing.

Older employees are likely to enjoy improved wellbeing, according to a new study from The Myers-Briggs Company.

Data from the three-year international study, which surveyed over 10,000 people from 131 countries, revealed that the youngest age group (18–24 years) report the lowest levels of wellbeing (6.77 on a 10-point scale) and the oldest age group (65+ years) reported the highest levels (8.14). The research supports a widely held hypothesis that people develop ways to support their wellbeing with experience – something that presents an opportunity for senior-aged workers to help mentor their younger co-workers and enhance organisational wellbeing.

By contrast, the research found that country culture and gender play little part in contributing to workplace wellbeing. The survey findings highlight that workplace relationships are of key importance and the personality type of colleagues also has an impact on employee satisfaction.

Wellbeing strategies

Commenting on the findings, John Hackston, head of thought leadership at The Myers-Briggs Company, said: “Growing evidence shows wellbeing influences a wide range of life outcomes and, despite organisations spending vast sums on ‘wellness programmes’, few companies use real insight to inform their workplace wellbeing strategies.”

John believes that business should use these survey results to help them develop internal strategies that build on their strengths. “Drawing on the wisdom and experience of senior-aged workers to help mentor their younger colleagues can be a key benefit, with mentorship programmes one way to do this,“ he says.

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He points to evidence that up to 80% of people in large organisations are not engaged with their work, which can have a dramatic impact on productivity – something the UK struggles with. Investing in appropriate and targeted wellbeing strategies can lead greater commitment to their organisation, John believes. Businesses can benefit from, “improved job satisfaction and a reduced likelihood of job-hopping” which, ultimately, can help drive business success.

Wellbeing strategies can also appeal to new employees who look for additional value from their employer and considering the currently record-low unemployment levels across the UK – and the thousands of NHS vacancies –  organisations have to compete fiercely for the best talent.

Listening to, and learning from, those with experience – and offering excellent workplace wellbeing – is one way to engage and retain employees, both young and old alike.

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