Type of Content: Research

Subtype: Journal Article

Resource Title: The Use of HR Policies and Job Satisfaction of Older Workers

Publication Title: Work, Aging and Retirement (7)4: 303–321

Publish Date: October 2021

Against the backdrop of aging populations and policies to extend working lives, this study advances prior research by examining how job satisfaction of older workers is associated with not only own, but also coworkers’ usage of 3 human resource (HR) policies: phasing out (i.e., lighter workload, additional leave, and semi-retirement), demotion, and training. Exploiting unique, linked organization-department-employee data from the European Sustainable Workforce Survey (ESWS), hypotheses derived from the job demands-resources (JD-R) model and relative deprivation theory are tested with 3-level regression analysis. The findings show that demotees are less satisfied with their job compared to older employees who were not demoted, whereas participation in phasing out arrangements is not related to older workers’ job satisfaction. Older employees who received training are more satisfied with their job than those who did not. Moreover, in departments where coworkers participated in training, older employees who did not receive training are more satisfied than those in departments where training is unavailable or in which training is offered, but not used. Phasing out and demotion of colleagues are not associated with job satisfaction of older workers. These results are largely in line with the JD-R model, as demotion would decrease motivation and, in turn, job satisfaction, whereas training would increase job resources and motivation and, in turn, job satisfaction. This study concludes that providing training to older workers is a fruitful HR strategy for employers to stimulate job satisfaction among their older employees and facilitate longer working lives.

The Use of HR Policies and Job Satisfaction of Older Workers