The global population just keeps on growing. There are now five generations of consumers and a workforce that is rewriting the rulebook with regards to traditional ways of working.
According to research from Accenture, today’s global population aged 60 or over makes up approximately 10 per cent of the overall population of 750 million. By 2050, it’s expected to soar to over 20 per cent of the population to more than two billion people.
An ageing population asks new questions for businesses. Commercially, there are opportunities to be realised but as an employer it’s evident that a fresh approach is now required as notions of retirement begin to change.
Read about how the ageing population is proving both a boon and a burden for companies and the way in which they perceive not only their customers, but their employees too.
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From Asia to the Americas, populations are getting older—a trend that is likely to continue for decades to come. So far, however, while perhaps acknowledging the existence of this trend, policy makers and business leaders have done little to prepare for it. In many cases, this inaction stems from misconceptions about older workers and consumers. We have identified seven common myths surrounding aging populations and highlight how organizations can find growth where others see only cost and limitations.
|Myth #1:||Emerging economies will balance out the ‘silver tsunami’ of developed economies.|
||Population aging is a Population aging is a global trend that affects many emerging economies|
|Myth #2:||Countries with aging populations face decades of low growth|
||By taking steps to increase the employment of older workers, countries can avert economic stagnation|
||Employment is a zero-sum game, so retaining older workers will only worsen the crisis of youth unemployment|
|Reality #3:||Retaining older workers is likely to increase overall employment growth|
|Myth #4:||Older workers tend to be less productive|
||Organizations can sustain older workers’ productivity by adapting the workplace to their needs|
|Myth #5:||The entrepreneurial spirit tends to decline with age|
|Reality #5:||Older people are more likely to set up a new business, and they’re less likely to fail|
|Myth #6:||Older consumers are an unattractive demographic for marketers|
||Older consumers have vast purchasing power, making them an untapped opportunity for marketers|
|Myth #7:||Older consumers are less likely to adopt new technology|
|Reality #7:||The digital divide isn’t inherently age-based, and it will close over time|
Both business leaders and policymakers must recognize that now is the time to address population aging. As a starting point, business leaders can assess their company’s preparedness on key dimensions, by asking the following questions:
Have we quantified the opportunities arising from population aging?
Do we offer flexible, tailored work models that support the changing needs of older workers?
Do we have programs and incentives that encourage the exchange of knowledge between generations?
Do we have detailed customer profiles and market intelligence on consumers aged 55 and over?
Do we have an innovation strategy focused on the needs and preferences of older consumers?
Policymakers can make a start by focusing on the following questions:
Does our education policy include a strategy for supporting lifetime skill formation?
Are tax and pension systems aligned to encourage older people to stay in the workforce?
Do our digital policies sufficiently address the needs of an aging population?
Are we stimulating and leading discussions among researchers, business leaders and policymakers on the issues arising from an aging population?
Are we addressing the barriers—such as access to capital, or regulation—that frequently stymie the entrepreneurial potential of the older population?
For further insights read:
Get Ready for the Silver Economy in criticaleye.net
The Accenture Institute for High Performance develops and publishes practical insights into critical management issues and global economic trends. Its worldwide team of researchers connects with Accenture’s business leaders to demonstrate how organizations become and remain high performers through original, rigorous research and analysis.