Endring i lederes holdninger til eldre arbeidskraft
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- NIBR notat 
Recent changes in the attitudes of Norwegian managers towards older workers This report is based upon analyses of the Norwegian Senior Policy Barometer, division for managers in private and the public sector. Data are collected each year from 2003, and this report includes data from 2003 to 2007. Each year approximately 750 managers are interviewed for the Centre for Senior Policy by the market research company MMI (from 2007: Synovate). The object of the analyses is to study changes in the attitudes towards older workers among Norwegian top managers. In the period of observation, the need to make better use of older workforce and for older workers to postpone retirement has been under public discussion. Pension reforms, campaigns to promote senior personnel policy, and the agreement between unions, employers associations and the state on a more including working life are central parts of the public awareness. In addition, changes in the labour market situation with high activity, an increasing lack of labour, and lower unemployment rates, underscore the need for older workers to remain in work. This study does not intend to establish which factors that have the strongest impact on the changes we find in the senior policy barometer, but the results indicate clearly that labour market changes play a part. The managers» conceptions of older workers have changed in a positive way. Their opinion of when workers become 'older' has increased from in average 52.1 year of age in 2003 to 53.8 years in 2007. Managers are also more optimistic about the ability of older workers to master information technology, and a great majority (75 percent) hold that workers above 50 years perform at least as well at work as workers below 50. The affective element of attitude is measured as likes and dislikes for employment of different categories of workers. 'Older workers' and 'seniors' have become more popular over the study period, as have 'young workers' and workers 'fresh from education', However, by far the most popular workers are the 'experienced'. The experienced are quite different from older workers and seniors and most often they are associated with workers under at least 50, possibly even younger. The less popular workers, still in 2007, are 'older workers'. 'Seniors' are a little more popular, but clearly less attractive than 'young workers'. If the labour market situation changes and the need for labour decreases, the older workforce may become less attractive to employ. However, one possible effect of employing more older workers, as in the recent years, may be to strengthen the positive conceptions of older workers and to produce a lasting increased interest in older workers among managers. Of course, a number of other factors than managers' attitudes will influence the employment rate among the middle-aged and older age groups. Changes in the pension system, changes in working conditions and in older workers» preferences for leisure, are among such factors. Indicators on the behaviour of managers towards older workers also tend to change in a positive direction over the study period. Still, few managers report that the company have prepared for demographic changes by calculating the average age of their workforce a few years ahead. On the other hand, more managers in 2007 (18 percent) than in 2004 (8 percent) have discussed concrete consequences of the legislation against age discrimination effective from May 1. 2004. The managers are asked to what extent they have experienced that age discrimination take place in working life. The general answers have not changed significantly from 2003 to 2007. However, some specific types of discrimination seem to have changed more, e.g. that younger workers are preferred when new technology is introduced. In 2007, 61 per cent of managers had experienced this at least occasionally, compared to 66 per cent in 2004. Attitudes towards older workers differ between trades and sectors of working life. In general managers in the public sector are more positive than managers in the private sector. Managers in the public sector are more ready to employ all kinds of workers, also older workers and seniors. The trade most negative towards older workers is the hospitality business (hotels and restaurants). Hospitality managers are less interested in employing older workers and have more negative conceptions of older workers and seniors than managers in other trades. Managers in large companies (more than 100 employees) are more positive towards older workers than managers in small companies. Large companies more often recruite new workers and may sooner detect problems concerning lack of labour. Thus, they may earlier become open to recruiting the less attractive workers, like older workers. Older managers are more positive towards older workers than younger managers and the older managers seem to be spearheads pulling younger managers up to more positive attitudes. There is one exception to the more positive attitudes of older managers; they are more sceptical than younger managers regarding older workers» ability to master information technology and PC. Summing up, positive changes have taken place over the recent years in managers» attitudes towards older workers. Older managers seem more positive than younger managers. Thus, by retaining older managers, older workers may also work longer. However, older managers' attitudes concerning the PC abilities of older workers may need special attention, but managers of all ages prefer younger workers when introducing new data systems and new working methods. Including older workers in trainingprogrammes and in technology changes is a challenge for managers of all ages. In general, it is important to support attitudinal changes in progress, and to pay special attention to trades lacking behind, like the hospitality industry. Age discrimination is another issue which needs broad attention.Denne rapporten analyserer data fra Norsk seniorpolitisk barometer 2003-2007 om holdninger ledere i arbeidslivet har til eldre arbeids-takere. I denne perioden har det vært stor offentlig oppmerksomhet om behovet for å bruke eldre arbeidskraft bedre og for at flere pensjonerer seg senere enn i dag. Ledernes oppfatninger av eldre arbeidskraft har endret seg i positiv retning. Følelsen av å ville like å ansette eldre arbeidstakere og seniorer har også blitt mer positiv i perioden, men det har også viljen til å ansette unge og nyutdannete. Overlegent mest populære er kategorien «erfarne arbeids-takere». De «erfarne» det her gjelder, synes stort sett å være under 50 år. Minst populære er fortsatt «eldre arbeidstakere». Indirekte indikatorer på ledernes atferd overfor eldre viser også positive tendenser over perioden. Oppfatningene av hvor ofte det foregår aldersdiskriminering i arbeidslivet synes å være i mindre endring enn mange av de andre oppfatningene. Rapporten diskuterer i hvilken grad endringene er konjunkturavhengige og hvordan holdningene varierer mellom bransjer og sektorer og med ledernes kjønn og alder.