Line Manager Awareness

Two figures talking

In the IHW staff consultation of older workers a recurring theme was around line manager awareness - some interviewees felt that their line managers didn't understand the particular challenges older workers might face, including challenges with health, caring responsibilities and pensions and retirement. 

As older workers start to make up a greater proportion of the workforce, line managers will be managing older workers more frequently and may be older workers themselves. This section of the toolkit aims to help signpost line managers towards relevant policies and resources. 

According to the consultation:

"one of the main hurdles older workers face when discussing challenges with line managers is that the line manager, who may be younger or a different sex, will not be able to relate to the challenges of being an older worker. One noted that, as an older woman, it would be more difficult to discuss things like menopause with a line manager who is a young male. Some argued that young managers cannot understand or appreciate the experience and value older workers because they have not lived that experience".

"The way population demographics are shaping up for the next 50 years older people are going to feature more and more in our workplaces whether we try to make that happen or not.  The University needs to accept this and recognise the attributes older people bring to the table: experience, wisdom, perspective, understanding to name but a few".  

"Multigenerational diversity should embrace workers of every age and celebrate what each brings to the table"

There is a strong business case for helping support and happier and healthier workforce:

Employees who are in good health are less likely to need time off work and are likely to be more productive 

Prevention and early intervention are the most effective ways to support workforce mental health, rather than tackling problems after they arise 

In 2018, more than 27.8 million working days were lost due to musculoskeletal conditions