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Motivations To Continue Working Past Retirement Age

2054 words - 9 pages

The motivation to continue working is receiving more and more scientific attention . Reasons for this include an increasing life expectancy and health of workers which allows them to keep working after retirement age. It is important for organizations to motivate employees to continue working because the changing demographics result in a declining workforce in western countries (OECD, 2005). Another related problem might be people who retire before the official retirement age as the workforce will dwindle even further. Decreasing workforce makes it harder for organizations to fill positions and harder for society to pay for social security. Building on this trend, this study focusses on what organizations can do to keep employees longer in their organization and how this mechanism works.
Recent work by Templer, Armstrong-Stassen and Cattaneo (2010) provided a framework that looks at antecedents of continuing to work after retirement. They found three main factors that affect the decision to continue working. The first and most important factor is the financial motive; evidence for this is well documented (Humphrey et al, 2003; Parkinson, 2002).The second factor mentioned by Templer et al.(2010) is work fulfillment. Both the studies by Humphrey et al (2003)and Parkinson (2002) indicated that the second most important reason to continue to work after retirement was work fulfillment. A third factor was also mentioned by Templer et al. (2010), generativity. Generativity deals with older worker transferring their knowledge and skills to (younger) co-workers. Research shows that transferring knowledge may be important to older workers (Mor-Barak, 1995). Therefore generativity may also be an important reason to continue to work after retirement .
If organizations want to keep their older employee’s it is important to look at what they can do to increase theirs workers motivation to continue working. While paying more is an option, as finances are the most important motivators, organizations aren’t too keen to pay more as labor is already expensive. They do however have sets of HR practices to deal with employees, these sets are called HR configurations. One configuration organizations use is the commitment HR configuration, this configuration consists of practices that focus on increasing the commitment in employees and thus their intention to stay. Therefore it is likely that commitment HR practices will increase the motivation of employees to continue working.

Work fulfillment and generativity have the same antecedents according to the model by Templer and et al (2010): work centrality, career satisfaction and perceived contribution. These concepts are closely related to the often used concept of job satisfaction. Job satisfaction could lead to an increased motivation to continue working. If employees like their work, they generally will want to continue working there. Therefore job satisfaction could be a mediator between HR commitment...

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