Saga – supporting 'Generation Experience'
For Saga Group – which offers a range of products and services exclusively for over 50s – its customer focus directly informs the way it thinks about its workforce.
- We take care with the wording we use in recruitment advertising, avoiding language such as ‘energetic’ or ‘graduate’, which could introduce an age bias.
- We look to offer flexibility in hours and location, recognising that this can be valuable to people whatever age they are.
- To gain insight from colleagues about what’s working and where we could do better, we hold ‘Age Inclusion Forums’ – listening sessions on age – with members of our Executive Leadership Team.
“Our approach to being age friendly starts from recruitment and onboarding. We analyse data on the age of our colleagues, review how we can drive greater representation and translate this into our hiring practices.
“Wherever possible, we look to offer flexibility in hours and location, recognising that this can be valuable to people whatever age they are.
“We take care with the wording we use in recruitment advertising, avoiding language such as ‘energetic’ or ‘graduate’ which, although could apply to anyone of any age, could be more strongly associated with younger candidates and therefore introduce an age bias.
“When we select media to announce our vacancies, we deliberately include websites that specialise in jobs for older people.”
“We have many policies and practices designed to support older colleagues, recognising that it’s not just young parents who need flexibility in their working lives.
“We offer grandparents’ leave so that anyone who becomes a grandparent receives one week of paid leave, irrespective of length of service. This entitlement starts on day one. We offer extended nursery provision to grandchildren at our on-site nursery on the coast in Folkestone.
“We have a menopause policy and are delighted that we’ve been accredited as a menopause friendly employer via the Menopause Friendly accreditation programme. We are one of only 25 other organisations that have received this recognition.
“It’s important to us that all staff benefit from training and development. This is particularly true of older workers, who are often overlooked for these opportunities in the workplace. We offer internal and external mentoring partnerships to all our people, ensuring there is a good representation of older colleagues on these programmes.”
Given the market we serve, we think it’s really important that all colleagues in the business really understand what ageing means.
“To gain insight from colleagues about what’s working and where we could do better, we hold ‘Age Inclusion Forums’ – listening sessions on age – with members of our Executive Leadership Team.
“We’re delighted about the positive feedback that we receive. Older colleagues really feel the benefit of intergenerational teams. They feel valued for their experience and they say that Saga has a positive view on age. There’s no expectation about when you will retire, for example. Colleagues have often experienced ageism elsewhere and we’re pleased they find a much more supportive environment at Saga.”
Reflecting our customer base
“Given the market we serve, we think it’s really important that all colleagues in the business really understand what ageing means. “Based on insight from The Big Window – our own embedded research and insight agency – we’re engaging in a programme of ‘Age Upskilling’ throughout 2022/23. Its aims include ensuring that all colleagues understand ageing and what it's like to age, and that we challenge negative perceptions around ageing and use more positive language.
“Something that really distinguishes us is our new rotating ‘Head of Experience’ role, which is initially being taken by Danny Clarke, who shot to fame aged 53 when he was crowned BBC’s Instant Gardener. Now in his sixties, Danny is going from strength to strength. As a regular contributor to Saga Magazine, he is living proof that starting a successful new career should not be the preserve of the young. In his role as Head of Experience, Danny will help us to champion 'Generation Experience'. He will challenge people to think differently about age, reinforcing why breaking stereotypes around ageing is so important.”
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