Older Workers' Attitude And Training Essay

1493 words - 6 pages

Older workers' attitude and trainingThe change project in Life Care can be described as "new capitalism" which compromise several factors. The factors include increasing efficiency based upon technology, quality of information and management. Also, a shift from manual handling of data processing activities to the current information technology revolution, flexible specialization, increased innovation and adaptability (Pillay et al. 2003).In order to successfully change from paper based system to computerised system in Life Care, continuous learning and skill development by staffs of all age is becoming more critical than ever. The change in technology in data processing and management meant that new skills are required of workers at older age to perform their job more efficiently (Maurer 2001).The average age of nurses in Life Care is 50 years old which fall into the generation of baby boomers and are now considered as older workers (Noe 2005). There is biological evidence that human mental capabilities will decrease from when they are aged 20 to 70. According to Arkin (2006), research has shown that participation in work- related learning drops sharply for older workers especially for those who reach their 50s. Thus, given a shift in Life Care into a new computer based system, it is reasonable to assume that this change into computerised system would be particularly difficult for the nurses whose work practices and work ethics were developed during a time when the data processing used to be handled manually (Pillay et al. 2003).Computer-based work tends to increase cognitive load and hence the use of working memory, which also shows a decline with age (Birdi & Zaph 1997). Beside that, older workers take longer to adapt to a new system of working and they are also less likely to be initially familiar with computers (Warr cited in Birdi & Zaph 1997). According to Bandalos and Benson cited in Birdi & Zaph (1997), the lack of experience with computers can make older workers more apprehensive about working with them and also make it less likely that they will know what to do in the event of an error situation, thereby increasing emotional distress.Research into workplace behavior has suggest that when employees get older, the motivation and participation in training and development activities are less compared to younger employees, creating a challenge for organizations (Maurer 2001). The nurses at Life Care are used to entering and managing data manually, even though the method use are no longer efficient. Poor efficiency are seems less threatening than using something new which they are unfamiliar (Gilsdorf 1992). In addition, there are some existing explanations for poor participation such as impending retirement and the decline in older workers own self-confidence in their ability to learn and develop (Maurer 2001). Since most of the nurses are nearing their retirement age, often they are less motivated to learn new skill as it would...

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