Thinking about making ergonomics improvements to the workplace but not sure how well they will be received by older workers? A new study indicates that older workers may be the easiest segment of workers to convince that change is good: when changes are seen as beneficial to the company, older workers are the first to adopt.
The study, conducted by Dr. Tracey Rizzuto from Louisiana State University (LSU), surveyed over 360 workers, nearly 60 percent of whom were 46 or older and 11 percent were over 55.
Rizzuto’s survey focused on willingness to learn new systems, motivation, commitment and satisfaction in accepting changes. Ultimately, she found that the older workers were more willing and excited about changes.
“While there may be some isolated examples of an older worker being resistant to change, this study suggests that is not typical of most older workers surveyed,” Rizzuto said. “In fact, older workers are more inclined and interested in making changes to benefit the organization than younger workers.”
Rizzuto credited the openness to change to the older workers’ loyalty to their co-workers and their employer: if the changes were perceived as beneficial to everyone, the older workers were more apt to jump in. Rizzuto noted that while other studies have indicated that older workers may not learn new technology as quickly as some younger workers, this could merely be an indication that specialized training programs that focus on older workers would be beneficial.
“It’s a small price to pay to retain a valuable segment of the workforce who are teachable and adaptable and who will greatly benefit the organization,” she said.