"We need talented young people as well as the strengths of older employees – their dedication, experience and knowledge. This is particularly true at times when skilled workers are increasingly scarce."
Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann
In Germany, among the consequences of demographic change is a decrease in the overall potential employee population. In addition, the age of the available workforce is increasing.
We are putting various measures into practice to address these challenges, taking an integrative, life-stage-oriented approach: from staff development to our Bertelsmann University learning organization, from increasing the flexibility of working hours through to facilitating a healthy work-life balance. We are piloting innovative tools that help our companies to address the issue.
Age Structure Analysis
In Age Structure Analysis pilot projects, the age and qualification structure of the workforce is systematically examined. On the basis of concrete data, conclusions can be drawn about the effects of demographic change. Through age analysis, it is possible to determine the future distribution of employee age and skills in a designated area and any impending loss of key qualifications in that area. For example, should a department have people nearing retirement with key qualifications or experience, early knowledge transfer can be initiated. The results of age analysis are an important basis for a life cycle oriented personnel policy and targeted HR developments, to maintain the work ability and employability of employees of all ages.
Demography checks are currently being developed to analyze various aspects of demographic change in order to identify areas in which action is needed. These include e.g., physical and mental health, workplace design and organization, knowledge management, competence development, as well as reconciling work and private life, including care for family members. The demography check is based on analyses, which are rounded out, in workshops, with assessments by selected executives, works council members and employees. Based on this, relevant action areas can be identified and appropriate measures derived.
Flexible Work and Reconcilation of Work and Private Life
To promote the reconciliation of work and private life, the companies offer individualized services at a number of sites, including:
• Flexible scheduling;
• Home office;
• Personal leave opportunities;
• Family support services.
• Support for the reconciliation of work and care for family members
In Germany in cooperation with local kindergartens, other facilities and pme family services, care for children is available at many sites.