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Managing

Best Practices

Training & Development

Introduction

Training and development should be an essential part of the career advancement plan for all your employees, regardless of their age. With relevant training, older workers can continuously hone their skills, become more productive and extend their employability.

However, the provision of training and development opportunities for older workers in Singapore organisations remain low. TAFEP’s 2015 Study on the Preparedness of Employers in Managing an Ageing Workforce found that only 33.5 per cent of organisations had career developmental opportunities for older workers. Furthermore, only 21.5 per cent of organisations had customised programmes or skills upgrading programmes for older workers.

Benefits

Investing in lifelong learning among older workers helps your company stay competitive, and allows you to draw on their wealth of experience. Supervisors should also be trained in managing and coaching older workers. The benefits in training and developing older workers include:

Increased productivity and efficiency

Providing the necessary training for older workers to get used to newer systems, processes and technologies can increase their competency and job knowledge. This, in turn translates to higher efficiency and effectiveness in their work.

Increased motivation and commitment

Training allows your older workers to feel important and useful to the company. Workers who feel this way are more likely to stay and contribute more confidently. For example, older workers who have been through training are better equipped to serve your customers, and are more confident when doing so.

Increased adaptability

Older workers who constantly improve their skills and knowledge can better keep up with changes in technology, shorter business cycles, and changes in products and services.

Increased flexibility and agility

Older workers can be trained to take on different roles which allow them to apply the knowledge and skills they have accumulated from their years of experience. This also extends their suitability for alternative job roles and functions. With their increase in confidence and adaptability, they will be more willing to take up multiple roles or even new roles.

Tips on career planning

Older workers may have career development needs, which include changing jobs within the organisation or picking up new skills. A good training and development plan should assist to meet the needs of older workers.

Tips on career planning
Some good practices include:
  • Appraise performances fairly across your workforce and promote based on merit.
  • Have career planning and development programmes for all employees.
  • Discuss individual career goals with older workers. These can be done through one-on-one meetings, such as career development interviews.
  • Train older workers how to use new technology.
  • Give your older workers access to career advice and information. This helps them understand the range of opportunities they have, so they can make informed decisions.
  • Role models and mentors for older workers can increase the likelihood of successful adaptability in learning new skills and roles.
  • Consider lateral career moves, e.g. assigning your older workers to special projects or letting them work on a wider variety of tasks. You could also deploy them to take on more interesting or challenging responsibilities.

Company Practices

Admiralty Primary School

Admiralty Primary School trains its retirees and re-employed staff who are Adjunct Teachers, so that they can keep their skills up to date. Middle managers also work closely with them to support them. The school benefits from these longstanding employees’ wealth of experience.

Information is accurate as of December 2017
Maybank

Transformational Life Work Seminar

Recognising that as their employees go through different life stages, their priorities, life values and goals may change; Maybank organised a 1-day “Transformational Life Work Seminar”. Conducted by ACE Seniors Pte Ltd and commissioned by the Centre For Seniors (CFS), the event was targeted towards mature staff from different job levels. It aimed to equip staff with the knowledge in planning and managing life transitions so that they can remain actively engaged in life and retire meaningfully and purposefully. Through this course, staff not only took home valuable life skills and knowledge, but also learnt how to refocus and re-prioritise their life values.

SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace

In support of the national SkillsFuture initiatives, Maybank organised a 2-day “SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace” course which was open to all staff, with priority given to staff aged 35 and above. The course comprised various experiential and interactive elements, such as team challenges and a learning journey that involved the hands-on use of digital applications.

As Singapore strives to become a Smart Nation, the Bank also aims to equip its staff with the knowledge and skills to harness technology effectively. More importantly, it hopes to become a future-ready organisation that is able to embrace emerging digital trends and innovations.

Information is accurate as of December 2017
The American Club

The American Club supports re-employment of mature staff, matching them to suitable positions within The Club and providing them with necessary training and support. The Club worked with the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) and the Inclusive Growth Programme to implement productivity improvement projects to simplify work processes so that they could be carried out effectively by employees of all ages. The organisation also sponsored a training programme for team leaders, which led to a WSQ Professional Diploma in Leadership & People Management. More than half the participants of this programme were at least 40 years old, with the oldest being a 67-year-old.

Information is accurate as of November 2017