Motivation on the slide for older managers and professional employees

For most organisations, experienced older managers are one of their most valuable assets, as are older professional employees – engineers, accountants, medics, economists, IT experts and others. Not surprisingly, these occupations have been and continue to be highly rewarded, relative to other kinds of employee.

But now, research from PSI shows that the motivation of these groups, once they reach late career, has been on a downward slide since the early 1990s. Indeed, they are the only group whose job satisfaction and organisational commitment have been falling over the entire 20-year period.

The research is bad news for government and for employers. Keeping these employees in the workforce will be difficult, re-motivating them harder still. PSI researchers Deborah Smeaton and Michael White, who carried out the research, blame widespread regimes of cost reduction and continuous organisational change as the source of growing pressures and uncertainties for executives.

The findings are published in full in the journal Human Relations – access the article here.

Related article

Older Workers: kept in but not kept happy, by Deborah Smeaton and Michael White

Update: 24 August 2016

You can read a recently posted summary and discussion of the article by the authors, on the ‘Work in Progress’ website of the American Sociological Association.

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