Actions to support change management vary according to the life stages of the staff, taking into account the different expectations of these management staff.
Prior to limiting work and opportunities against workers‘ will, Illmarinen (2005) warns of apathy and threatening perceptions of the meaningfulness of work as a possible consequence. In more detail, Ylikoski (In: Illmarinen, 2005) devotes himself to management’s expectations of management and divides these life phases into the following categories:
- Student- awaits the possibility of education, support, preparation for independence
- A learner -gets a more significant share of economic and managerial responsibility and learning opportunities
- Eligible professional – Increasing interest in responsibility and engagement in decision-making processes
- Experienced instructor- awaits recognition, authority and understanding in various life situations
- A helping expert – to use contacts, visions, have respect and the possibility of feedback
Employee expectations are constantly changing, however, and are related to changes in the external environment, job requirements and, therefore, workers‘ competencies. Measures that management adopts and enforces vary according to the lifecycle stage of individual workers and whether it is related to the content of the work or the organization of work.
Examples of tools related to the content of the work:
- Limiting physical load-finding ergonomic solutions
- Adaptation of the content and pace of the work phase of the employee’s life cycle
- Promoting satisfaction from work and well-being
- Supporting education and physical fitness and employee health
Examples of tools related to the organization of work:
- Appropriately chosen working hours with regard to the worker’s options and the employer’s requirements
- Moving the worker to another location within the company
- Offer and use of various forms of flexible work and adaptation of working conditions (shared job place, part-time, home office …)
The adaptation of tools to individual phases of a worker’s life cycle can make a positive contribution to reconciling family and working life. For more on this topic, see Cimbalnikova et al. (2012). Manager´s actions can also be divided by employees´s life cycle. For example, for parents on parental leave returning to the labor market, it is a significant benefit to use the services of a child group or company kindergarten.
It is certainly not surprising that leaders play a key role in managing change in life. High quality executives can be described by Illmarinen (2005) as follows:
- Correct attitude and respect for aging employees
Negative attitudes towards age by the senior management lead to negative reception of ongoing changes in the neighborhood and makes it difficult to find ways to cope with these changes. Positive approach to the growing age of employees allows new personalities to be identified and develops, for example, the ability to solve complex problems where employees capitalize on their acquired experience.
- Cooperation on supporting employees and improving working conditions
A cooperative approach to the way of work is increasingly valued with the growth of the age of employees. Supporting the diverse knowledge and experience of workers helps maintain and increase working capacity, emphasis is placed on team coperation before the hierarchical management method. It is known that older employees need more time to adapt to changing workplace than their younger colleagues.
- Consider the individual needs of workers when implementing work measures
Whether we want it or not, with age, our physical, mental and social differences are constantly increasing. Our work capacity is increasingly individualized, age management can respond to these changes by adapting and organizing work.
- Ability to communicate with aging employees
In support of adopting changes at the workplace, authors most often recommend encouraging the openness of communication across corporate hierarchies, the ability to discuss changes and seek arguments, and the solution distinguishes good age managers from others.
The role of senior executives, whose characteristics we have now become familiar with, also supports the findings of long-term studies. These surveys show that work capacity is growing together with an improving staffing.
Managerial measures to implement work-life extension and job-enhancing have a number of pitfalls and obstacles that require a change in many concepts and practices in the company. Illmarinen (2005) gives the following insights from practice:
Retirement should be perceived as a process rather than a point in working life, with the sudden ending of working life as a recession to the cliff. This retirement process has its irreplaceable planning and preparatory phase, with a suitably chosen retirement age preparation can prolong working life.
- Lifelong learning should be seen as a right, the fulfillment of which is an integral part of the work. Methods and forms of education need to adapt to age and change in learning abilities with new things.
- It is considered necessary to increase the company’s costs associated with the implementation of individual measures, not only in relation to seniors. Implementing measures to support change management in the course of life is hampered by ever-increasing demands on labor productivity.
These changes combine the change associated with age understanding and zero tolerance to age discrimination at work.