Life-phase-aware personnel policy that really fits

HR/learning in organisations
9/3/2023

With a life-phase-aware personnel policy, you meet the needs of employees at different stages of life. With these tips, you can keep your employees happy, motivated and on board!

Life-phase-aware personnel policy or age-aware personnel policy?

First of all, watch out for stereotyping. Before you know it, well-intentioned attention feels like age discrimination. Every person is unique, and so is every employee. There are people over 50 who live a wilder life than a school leaver who thrives on a lot of structure. Some start a family at the age of twenty, others only when they are forty. That is why we prefer to speak of life-phase-aware personnel policy, then from age-aware personnel policy.

If you want to get started with a life-phase-aware personnel policy, it's therefore too short of a curve to simply divide your workforce into age groups and blindly apply some tools per category. But how do you actually go about it? You can already sense it coming, because we wrote this blog for a reason. Of course, we have some tips up your sleeve to help you keep your employees happy and productive.

What is life-phase-aware personnel policy?

well life-phase-aware personnel policy has an eye for the different life phases of all employees, and ensures that they are and remain employable for the organisation. If you organise your organisation in a life-phase conscious way, you therefore consciously ensure that your staff remains vital, motivated and employable throughout their working life.

Is that focus on the needs of an employee who is in a certain phase of life really necessary? Well, if you want to keep developing, using and retaining the knowledge and experience you have in-house, you can't really escape it as an employer. Especially with the current labor market and the aging of the workforce, it is good to consider this.

Also read why hire older workers is a good idea!

Each phase of life has a major impact on a person's daily life. Small children, informal care, but also other interests and reduced health: these kinds of aspects in someone's personal life require quite a bit of attention and energy. And because no one has an unlimited battery, that also directly affects how much energy is left to do the work and fulfill ambitions.

On the other hand, there may also be a phase where someone has to invest less energy in personal life and is eager to (re) make a career and learn new things. Then also be alert so that you can keep this employee on board.

Life-phase-aware personnel policy benefits

There are advantages for both parties to a good life-phase-aware personnel policy.

For the employee, the benefits are:

  • Better work-life balance
  • Less chance of burnout or bore-out
  • Career opportunities at every stage
  • More happiness at work
  • Maintain income

For the employer, the benefits are:

  • Lower absenteeism
  • Good for employer branding 
  • Maintain knowledge and productivity
  • Better working atmosphere
  • Broader target group of applicants

But now the next question: how do you make your organisation more “life-cycle resistant”? We'll give you some tips.

5 tips for a life-phase-aware personnel policy

  1. To measure is to know

First, gather as much concrete input as possible. There is probably already a lot of useful information in your personnel system. The structure of your workforce, staff turnover in the past and the expected outflow in the future, what does absenteeism look like and what is going on with recruitment and selection of new employees?

This concrete data is definitely very interesting. But don't forget to look at the stories behind the numbers either. Why hasn't that applicant been employed? What is the reason for submitting a letter of resignation? And why is reintegration into their own position not working for so many employees? Hold exit interviews, speak to a company doctor, and let recruiters ask applicants who drop out during the procedure.

Dare also to look critically in the mirror during that inventory: might there have been a few more options for retaining staff if you had been more flexible with working hours, had invested a little more in ergonomics or offered training?

You can't change the past, but you can change the future!
  1. Ask your employees

Of course, the most useful information about what your employees need comes from... the employees themselves. So make work-life balance the subject of discussion during a progress call, and invite us to share what it takes to keep your valued force on board.

Do you want to make sure that employees don't give socially desirable answers because you happen to be their manager, but really dare to say what they need to feel comfortable in their age phase? Then an anonymous, online employee satisfaction survey on this topic is a good idea.

Also read: With these HR KPI examples, you can measure whether your HR goals are being achieved!

  1. Set the limits

Of course, the trees don't grow to the sky. There are limits to what is also possible and workable from a business and organisational point of view. So in addition to the inventory of wishes, a good inventory of possibilities also includes. After all, scheduling differently, redesigning workplaces, investing in training or creating duo jobs (just to name a few) has not only financial but also practical consequences.

Look at this with an open, but also real view. Involve your employees in the considerations. This not only fosters mutual understanding, but may also create creative ideas. Perhaps, due to a different division of work between colleagues, more is possible than initially seemed. Can't some wishes with the best will in the world be fulfilled? Then don't beat around the bush, tell it honestly and try to come to a compromise.

  1. Learn from each other

Encourage each other knowledge sharing within the organisation. Let older, more experienced employees share their knowledge with new entrants. It is also great when there is a two-way street: let starters also share the knowledge they have just learned at school with employees who have been around for a while.

It's a good idea to also look outside the established islands and beaten path. By collaborating more often in a multidisciplinary way, you can take a fresh look at your own work, combine forces and talents, and perhaps discover new opportunities.

Also read: Breaking island culture with task rotation!

  1. The toolbox for sustainable personnel policy

So many people, so many wishes. What is a solution for one employee does not have to be the solution for another. That is why you should make a broad effort if you want to make your personnel policy more sustainable. We'll give you some ideas in advance:

  • More flexible working hours and more options for working from home.
  • Personal development plans where a (temporary) step back is also an option.
  • Offer a career coach who can contribute ideas.
  • Working conditions a la carte: each employee receives a budget that allows secondary employment conditions to be chosen as they see fit.
  • Invest extra in education or coaching on certain themes related to various life phases: informal care, transition, return to work after childbirth or bereavement.

Life-phase-aware personnel policy: online example

One online platform certainly offers advantages if you want to upgrade your personnel policy. Not only do you get more insight and flexibility yourself, that also applies to your employees. They can gain and share knowledge at a time that suits them, it's easier to set up and complete surveys, and establishing and following up a personal development plan is a piece of cake.

Does this sound interesting? Then feel free to contact with us. We are happy to think along with you for a solution that suits the needs of your organisation!

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