Over 100 HR specialists gathered for a day to join a conversation about championing the ageing workforce. Funded by the Department of Employment as part of the Corporate Champions program and facilitated by Sageco, we used Sageco’s Envisage framework to discuss what it really means to ‘create your future’ – for organisations, for leaders and for individuals.
Drawing from the rich tapestry of Corporate Champion’s case studies, presenters and panelists were able to share their expertise around the six areas of the palette: Identity, Money, Career, Health, Relationships and the Future.
Highlights of the day included:
AMP’s Director Superannuation and Investment Platform, Patricia Montague, welcomed us with a video of Gary, aged 71 who works as a counsellor – but when he retires he’s going to work full time in his garden nursery. Now that’s redefining retirement!
- increasingly finding older workers want different places of work as well as different hours, and technology enables this
- we need more focus needed on re-skilling older workers, and on employers creating pathways to work differently
- over 1 in 5 older workers have experienced age discrimination – the loss of human capital is unsustainable
Susan’s five year term as commissioner finishes in June 2016 and we thanked her for being a true champion of mature age workers.
In our identity section, Noel Conlon, CEO of AIG Australia shared his personal and professional journey of Envisage. In preparation for attending an Envisage seminar, he found Jane Fonda’s TED talk on ‘Life’s Third Act’ particularly inspiring. Having C-Level advocacy is the ultimate way of championing ageing workforce solutions in any organisation. He reminded us of the impact that ‘passion for the cause ‘has on being able to get a business case through.
Shannon Foley, General Manager HR – Technology at Telstra, reiterated this point in her experience of developing a business case for executive approval. She shared how they used data to tell them what skills they needed to refresh for the future and what is shaping their workforce. They also identify their ‘Distinguished Professionals’ to grow and retain their talent.
Shannon shared a powerful story to challenge us on how we position late career to our mature aged workers. Perhaps we should all go to our intranets and search the word ‘retirement’ to see what comes up?
Working our way around the palette, we were pleased to have ipac with us to provide excellent general advice on money and also reviewed Moneysmart as a comprehensive way to plan your first meeting with an adviser or seek out the guidance you need. Sageco’s Kerrie McKenzie shared her personal experiences of planning for superannuation and Danny Hughes provided insights garnered from the breadth of Corporate Champions case studies.
Peggy Vosloo and Nan Dow highlighted Sageco’s commitment to closing the gender pay gap. All of our career participants have an opportunity to be involved in our Understanding gender pay equity workshop which explores the gender pay gap’s issues, how gender pay equity relates to everyone and provides strategies, tools and resources to use to close the gap while in job search, as an employee and as a manager.
In our career session, the dynamic duo of Kay Hull and Michael Hollingworth led a discussion around flexible work options and knowledge exchange. We heard unique examples such as the Santos FIFO ‘sportsperson’ roster to enable employees to play their chosen sports on the weekends. In a knowledge exchange case study from Great Lakes Council, one of the outcomes was that participants were ‘surprised by just how much they knew‘.
We reminded participants of the government Restart opportunity for funding the recruitment of a mature age employee.
Hunter New England Health’s Sue Brazil stole the show as she was interviewed by Paul Barton in our health section. We were in awe of her passion and experience as she gave many examples of better practice in ageing workforce management. When addressing how they manage employee health in a 24/7 work environment, she raised many challenges around the four pillars of health – nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress. This session was a lightbulb moment for many delegates whose questions addressed important issues such as mental health in the workplace.
In a dispersed workforce who are on the road as part of their role, one of their key initiatives for fostering good health is to provide Health passports, giving their employees access to gyms and swimming pools around the Hunter / New England district for the same weekly rate.
Sageco’s Cristina Hatzaras shared her personal stories of the impact of health on her parents’ careers.
Illustrating the benefits of collaboratively crafting flexibility, Kay Hull shared the personal and emotional challenge of supporting her father during his battle with cancer. It’s not just about having a carer’s leave policy, but also the conversation you have and keeping the balance of work and personal life.
Promoting and sharing better practice, our three panellists were grilled by Sageco CEO Alison Monroe on what they’ve learned championing the ageing workforce. From choosing the right service provider that goes above and beyond, having the language and support network to manage mature age workers and the expertise to understand what they are going through were all top of the list. A summary of the solutions the panel referred to is available here.
We encouraged all participants to identify their next steps. Having invested a day to discover ‘better practice’ – what can you now put in place? What is your next step? One step might be to attend the Open Envisage seminars being held in May in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. This is a rare opportunity to experience the Envisage seminar for yourself or send some colleagues along to road test it. You might like to continue the conversation with someone from Sageco to explore transition options for your organisation. “We want to see you be brave!”
We wish you all the very best as you create your future.
The Sageco Team
The Sageco team on the day, from left to right: Alison Monroe, Nan Dow, Paul Barton, Cristina Hatzaras, Kerrie McKenzie, Danny Hughes, Catriona Byrne, Melanie Healey, Peggy Vosloo, Kay Hull, Bernie Porter, Maike Schroeder, Rowan Arndt, Michael Hollingworth, Jaime Halward.