Prof. Dr. Michael Brusch is Professor of Business Administration, Marketing and Corporate Planning at the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Köthen, Germany. He has a doctoral degree in the field of Market research and Service Innovation and made his habilitation in the field of Business Administration. His research interests are mainly in the field of quantitative market research as well as product and service innovation.
Utilizing Post Retirement Employment in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Germany, as many other developed countries, is characterized by a rapid aging population. The growing proportion of elderly people and the declining size of the working population have a major impact on the domestic labor market. One approach to compensate for the shrinking workforce is prolonging the employment of present employees by either increasing the mandatory retirement age (from former 65 to 67 years) or by increasing their intrinsic motivation to promote post retirement employment.
Extending working life is a dominant measure to cope with the challenges of demographic change in developed countries. In this context, it is expected that the recruitment process of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) will become more difficult due to the diminishing workforce and limited financial resources to attract external labor. Hence, the retention of older employees presents particular for SME an important approach to secure a sufficient amount of skilled employees. With this arise questions such as: Which factors promote or hinder the willingness of employees to work post retirement age? Which environments in SME would be truly age-friendly?
The purpose of this contribution is the analysis of the impact of individual attributes and job-related psychological variables on the willingness of employees to work post retirement age. Due to the high importance of SME in Germany, a special focus of the paper is on these enterprises and their strategies to avoid a shortage of skilled labor. The data of the underlying analyses comes from representative sets of data collected by the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) in Germany. The first one was carried out in 2008 in which 1500 people between the ages of 55 and 64 participated. The second survey is from 2013 and included more than 5000 people aged between 55 and 70 years. The usage of both data sets allows the analyses of time effects.
The paper shows that individual attributes as well as job and organizational factors have a significant effect on workers’ willingness to work post retirement age. In addition, the significant influence of factors such as company size, employee gender, and occupational group will be highlighted. These findings, which refer to a certain point in time, are complemented by the integration of temporal movements which deliver important insights on cause-and-effect relationships in the past and allow therefore recommendations for the future. Finally, suggestions for environments in SME which are truly age-friendly will be given.