Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Thriving at 55+ — Result In Brief

Project ID: 328369
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: United Kingdom

Europe's workforce - thriving or surviving

Assessing Europe’s ageing population could facilitate more successful participation of older workers in the workplace.
Europe's workforce - thriving or surviving
The ageing process affects both individuals and society as a whole, with important socio-economic repercussions. The EU-funded project THRIVING AT 55+ (Thriving in the workplace – supporting people at the age of 55 years and over in satisfying and productive work) addressed the question of how older workers experience their ageing in the workplace.

Focusing on their well-being and performance, it investigated personal and organisational strategies that help older workers maintain a high quality work life. Three studies were conducted in two industrial sectors – healthcare and information and communication technologies – in the United Kingdom and Bulgaria.

The research used a conceptual framework integrating current theories on late-career performance and well-being, emphasising the positive approach to ageing in the workplace. Overall, older workers are viewed according to some common age stereotypes, focusing on the positive aspects. Despite not feeling discriminated against in general, there are some areas where older workers seem to be disadvantaged, for example, recruitment, training and development.

As a result, where human resources management (HRM) is concerned, differences of opinion about the need and availability of good practices reveal the need for dialogue improvement between organisations and older workers.

Workers in their late career can be categorised either as surviving, by meeting job demands (MJD) and protecting the status quo, or thriving, by keeping energised, learning and developing at work.

For older workers, MJD seems to be a basis for thriving, also facilitated through some job design characteristics. Likewise, some HRM strategies seem particularly effective for thriving. Combined with successful ageing strategies, training and development opportunities are highly beneficial to older workers and organisations.

Older workers’ experience in thriving and surviving and their perceptions of the availability of specific HRM practices and work performance vary across countries. At sector level, differences appear only in HRM practices.

The project’s findings have been communicated to and used by different organisations, for the benefit of both individuals and organisations. Governmental and third sector organisations' policy makers at national and international level were contacted, supporting future developments. The projects' results will also be shared academically, through publications, university teaching and further research.

Related information


Thriving, 55+, ageing, older workers, surviving
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top