Type: Symposium
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The total population in Germany has reached 82 million in 2018, and 21% of which (17 million people) are over the age of 65. The high percentage ranks 4th globally. At the same time, Germany's birth rate (1.5) is even lower than the European Union average (1.58), failing to catch up with the 2.1 population replacement rate. Because of the severe ageing problem, the local Mönchengladbach government has founded the Sozial-Holding der Stadt Mönchengladbach GmbH (Sozial-Holding) in 1996, an NGO that provides a variety of elderly care services, including accommodation, cleaning, catering, nursing, and out-patient escort. Apart from that, Sozial-Holding has recently started to encourage middle-aged and elderly employment. 31% of the organisation's employees are over 50 years old.

 

"Participation has something to do with quality. We work together here, not against each other. That's what makes it."

 - Monika Kuhlen-Heck, 57, Works Council Chairman

 

"My employer gave me a chance when given the IT structure of the group completely build. The company works economically and pay close attention to the fact that the People are satisfied. "

 - Michael Goujov, 62, IT system supervisor

 

"What strengthened me in my decision for the social holding was the following experience: during a conversation with the manager, his phone rang. He apologised and said he had to go -it was his son. I realised: Here I am right, here is also respected on family. "The customer review has been automatically translated from German."

 - Petra Sieben, 50, Nursing Consultant and Department Deputy Head

 

"The employer offers numerous possibilities to keep learning new things. I take the training regularly and with pleasure."

 - Regina Heinrichs, 54, Caring Assistant at Sozial Holding for 15 years

 

 

"Participation has something to do with quality. We work together here, not against each other. That's what makes it."

- Monika Kuhlen-Heck, 57, Works Council Chairman

"My employer gave me a chance when given the IT structure of the group completely build. The company works economically and pay close attention to the fact that the People are satisfied. "

- Michael Goujov, 62, IT system supervisor

"What strengthened me in my decision for the social holding was the following experience: during a conversation with the manager, his phone rang. He apologised and said he had to go -it was his son. I realised: Here I am right, here is also respected on family. "The customer review has been automatically translated from German."

- Petra Sieben, 50, Nursing Consultant and Department Deputy Head

"The employer offers numerous possibilities to keep learning new things. I take the training regularly and with pleasure."

- Regina Heinrichs, 54, Caring Assistant at Sozial Holding for 15 years

Good Practices for elderly employee

Middle-aged and elderly people are regarded as vital assets at Sozial-Holding. Therefore, a range of measures was set up to accommodate their needs at the workplace. For example,

  • Life-long learning programme for the employees. Subsidiaries of Sozial-Holding are required to provide opportunities for continuing education.
  • Employees' knowledge and experiences are treasured. They will be re-hired if they wish to continue working beyond retirement age.
  • If employees are no longer suitable for their original positions because of health issues etc., a different position will be arranged to suit their needs.
  • “We’re over 50, so what?” is part of the company’s basic policy – they would not be deemed less capable or excluded from career opportunities. This motto is being promoted by the organisation.

Older does not mean burden

"Company's expense increased when we first employed older people. But cost increase was merely short term. Since their knowledge and skills are able to be passed down, the resources it takes to hire elderly employees have since returned to a similar rate of hiring younger ones. They are able to bring in their experiences and knowledge in solving all kinds of complex issues. More companies should follow the example and encourage employment of middle-age and elderly people."

- Claudia Becke, Sozial-Holding, Human Resource Manager

Sources: https://www.sozial-holding.de/